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Self-driving tech firm Cruise to raise $1.35 billion from SoftBank as it readies robotaxis

Self-driving tech firm Cruise on Tuesday mentioned investor SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund has agreed to make investments an extra $1.35 billion by means of a second tranche, as it is working to launch industrial ridehailing service in San Francisco.

In 2018, SoftBank Vision Fund invested $900 million within the GM-backed Cruise and dedicated to investing one other $1.35 billion when Cruise autos have been prepared for industrial deployment, which have been at the moment scheduled for 2019.

Dan Ammann, the earlier chief govt of Cruise, mentioned he hoped to get a regulatory allow to cost for driverless rides from California Public Utilities Commission early this 12 months.

He stepped down in December and Cruise founder and president Kyle Vogt now serves as interim CEO.

Softbank’s funding will assist Cruise “quickly scale this technology” throughout San Francisco and into extra communities, Vogt mentioned in a weblog posting.

“Most people experience childlike delight during the first ride, but then the ride quickly becomes boring (as it should),” he mentioned, including that “One of them even fell asleep.”

Cruise additionally mentioned that as of Tuesday it would open up the ready record to most of the people to join free rides in San Francisco.

When requested about whether or not GM plans to record Cruise on the inventory markets to raise capital, GM CEO Mary Barra mentioned in October that Cruise is “well-funded.”

After the funding spherical that included Microsoft and Walmart early final 12 months, Cruise mentioned its valuation was above $30 billion.

(Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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