The SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings LLC (GM Cruise), further strengthening the company’s plans to commercialize AV technology at large scale. GM will also invest $1.1 billion in GM Cruise upon closing of the transaction.
The SoftBank Vision Fund investment will be made in two tranches. At the closing of the transaction, the Vision Fund will invest the first tranche of $900 million. At the time that Cruise AVs are ready for commercial deployment, the Vision Fund will complete the second tranche of $1.35 billion, subject to regulatory approval. Together, this will result in the SoftBank Vision Fund owning a 19.6-percent equity stake in GM Cruise and will afford GM increased flexibility with respect to capital allocation.
The GM and SoftBank Vision Fund investments are expected to provide the capital necessary to reach commercialization at scale beginning in 2019.
SoftBank Vision, which has substantial investments in other mobility providers, such as software developer Nvidia Corp. and ride-hailing giant Uber, is a part of SoftBank Group Corp., a global conglomerate holding company based in Tokyo.
With Cruise Automation, GM has become a leader among automakers in the development and deployment of self-driving vehicles. It is currently testing cars in several cities across the US.
“Our Cruise and GM teams together have made tremendous progress over the last two years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
“GM has made significant progress toward realizing the dream of completely automated driving to dramatically reduce fatalities, emissions and congestion,” said Michael Ronen, managing partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers. “The GM Cruise approach of a fully integrated hardware and software stack gives it a unique competitive advantage. We are very impressed by the advances made by the Cruise and GM teams, and are thrilled to help them lead a historic transformation of the automobile industry.”
“We’re excited to be joining forces with a tech leader who shares our belief that AV technology will change the world,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “We look forward to partnering with SoftBank as we work toward deploying this technology safely and in massive scale.”