A $2.25 billion investment from SoftBank Corp into GM’s Cruise self-driving company has been approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Reuters reports that the Japanese firm had come under increased scrutiny in the United States recently due to its ties with various Chinese firms. The CFIUS gave the go-ahead to the investment after receiving assurances that Cruise’s self-driving technology would be off-limits to SoftBank.
In exchange for its $2.25 billion, SoftBank will be provided with a seat on the board of Cruise.
“Today’s news is another important step toward achieving our goal to develop and deploy self-driving vehicles at massive scale,” Cruise chief executive Dan Ammann said.
So far, Cruise has raised $7.25 billion in capital since last yearm and SoftBank actually announced its planned $2.25 billion investment back in May 2018 as part of a significant investment push into artificial intelligence, data analytics, financial services and self-driving cars.
It is reported that the CFIUS was particularly weary of SoftBank’s co-investments with Chinese social media giant Tencent and ride-hailing giant Didi. There were reportedly fears that the latter would get its hands on Cruise’s technology if SoftBank’s investment was given the green light – which, for the U.S. authorities, was a no-no.
SoftBank separately reached an agreement with Uber back in 2017 to invest $9 billion in the ride-hailing giant in exchange for two seats on its board. However, the CFIUS never granted SoftBank permission for the board seats and, earlier this year, Uber was floated on the stock market.
Honda announced a huge $2.75 billion investment into Cruise in October 2018.