General Motors-Backed Cruise Raises USD 1.35 Bn In Strategic Financing

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Back in 2018, Softbank Vision Fund had landed an investment plan with Cruise while committing to investing USD 900 million upfront and USD 1.35 billion after Cruise launched its commercial operations.

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Cruise's RoboTaxi

Three years later Cruise has taken a big step forward by releasing the RoboTaxi service in San Francisco and attracted follow-on financing. The company was founded by Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan in 2013 and acquired by General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) in 2016. Until now, it has accumulated more than USD 10 billion of investment from well-known firms, including Softbank Vision Fund, Honda, and Microsoft.

Cruise has achieved significant progress in recent years. For instance, it launched its first self-driving car Origin in San Francisco in January 2020. This car model gets rid of traditional manual controls, such as pedals or steering wheel, as a product collaborating with General Motors and Honda.

In March 2021, Cruise announced the acquisition of self-driving car startup Voyage and recruited more than 60 operations talent. In June of the same year, the company received a USD 5 billion credit from General Motors to begin trial production of 100 Origin vehicles.

The former Cruise CEO, Dan Ammann, has said that Origin could save USD 5000 a year for San Francisco residents as a vehicle that could travel up to 1 million miles over its lifetime. The company is also planning to begin mass production of this model in 2023.

The development of autonomous vehicles is in full swing in the global market. Currently, Cruise has been licensed for self-driving in San Francisco and testing operations on public roads. However, the company has not yet secured commercial operations compared to Waymo, Apollo, and AutoX, marking slower progress in business development.

Article by Sasha Chen, EqualOcean, an investment research firm focusing on China.