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Daily Crunch: SoftBank bets big on autonomous delivery

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. SoftBank’s next bet: $940M into autonomous delivery startup Nuro Nuro has raised $940 million in financing from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a whopping amount that will be used to expand its delivery service, add new partners, hire employees and scale up its fleet of self-driving bots. The autonomous ...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Spotify, Saudi Arabia, Softbank, Tech, Getty Images, Netflix, Automotive, Va, Health Records, Jeff Bezos, Sunday Times, Equity, Instacart, Mobile World Congress


Softbank’s next bet: $940M into autonomous delivery startup Nuro

Nuro, the autonomous delivery startup, has raised $940 million in financing from the Softbank Vision Fund, a whopping amount that will be used to expand its delivery service, add new partners, hire employees and scale up its fleet of self-driving bots. Nuro has raised more than $1 billion from partners including SoftBank, Greylock Partners and Gaorong Capital. “We’ve spent the last two and a half years building an amazing team, launching our first unmanned service, working with incredible ...
Tags: Transportation, Softbank, Tech, Automotive, Arizona, Toyota, Self-driving Cars, Robotics, Greylock Partners, Kroger, Phoenix, Starship Technologies, Ike, Dave Ferguson, SoftBank Vision Fund, SoftBank Investment Advisers


Uber’s India rival Ola nears $6 billion valuation ahead of huge funding round

Ola, India’s local rival to Uber, has seen its valuation jump to nearly $6 billion as it prepares to take in a large round of financing. The ride-hailing firm, which was founded in 2010, has raised around $3.3 billion from investors to date, and it topped that up a little this week. Ola pulled in 520 crore (around $75 million) from existing investor Steadview Capital, according to filings provided to TechCrunch by business signals platform paper.vc. The paperwork indicates that Ola’s bu...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Uber, Asia, Australia, Ipo, Collaborative Consumption, India, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Automotive, New Zealand, Tencent, Foodpanda, Food Delivery


Grab raises fundraising target to $5B as Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing war heats up

Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab is aiming to start the new year with a bang and an awful load of bucks. The company, which acquired Uber’s local business earlier this year, is planning to raise as much as $5 billion from its ongoing Series H round, up from an original target of $3 billion, a source with knowledge of the plan told TechCrunch. Grab declined to comment for this story. That Series H round has been open since June. Already, it has seen participation from the likes of Toyota...
Tags: Google, Fundings & Exits, Startups, Uber, Asia, Business, Microsoft, Indonesia, China, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Softbank, Funding, Thailand, Automotive, Philippines


Uber partner Fair gets $385M led by Softbank to grow its flexible car ownership model globally

California startup Fair.com is aiming to turn the car market on its head by providing price-friendly, easy options for people to lease vehicles instead of buying them, and today it’s taking the latest, big step in that ambition. Fair has raised a huge Series B funding round of $385 million led by Softbank, with participation from Exponential Ventures, Munich Re Venture’s ERGO Fund, G Squared, and CreditEase,  to take its business global. Requiring just a drivers license and a credit card (or...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Uber, California, China, Germany, Collaborative Consumption, India, Softbank, Funding, Cars, US, Tech, Automotive, Venture Capital, Getaround


Grab is messing up the world’s largest mapping community’s data in Southeast Asia

Grab, Southeast Asia’s top ride-hailing company, has hit a roadblock in its efforts to improve its mapping and routing service after running into trouble with OpenStreetMap, the world’s largest collaborative mapping community, through a series of blundering edits in Thailand. Grab, which gobbled up Uber’s local business in exchange for an equity swap earlier this year, has busily added details and upgraded the maps it uses across its eight markets in Southeast Asia. Accurate maps are, of c...
Tags: Google, TC, Uber, Asia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Collaborative Consumption, India, Softbank, Tech, Sea, Thailand, Automotive, Tencent, Toyota


With today’s IPO sinking, a year of highs and lows for SoftBank

If there was a word that dominated startup and tech news coverage this year, it was SoftBank. The Japanese telecom conglomerate’s Vision Fund pushed out a prodigious amount of capital this year — quite literally billions of dollars — into companies as diverse as a molecular manufacturer (Zymergen) and a robotic pizza delivery business (Zume Pizza). It was a year of highs as its Flipkart transaction produced billions in returns, as well as a year of incredible lows, what with the crisis over Saud...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, TC, Uber, Asia, Japan, London, Hardware, Saudi Arabia, Finance, Government, Kingdom, Softbank, Tech, Walmart, Bloomberg


Getaround to expand Uber partnership to four more cities

Getaround, the peer-to-peer car-sharing service that first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in 2011, is expanding a partnership with Uber that gives users access to rideshare-ready vehicles. The program, which launched as a pilot in May 2017 in San Francisco, is now available to Getaround customers  in Los Angeles and San Diego. Two more cities, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. will soon follow, Getaround co-founder and CEO Sam Zaid told TechCrunch. Getaround’s carsharing platform is design...
Tags: Startups, Transportation, Uber, Washington, Softbank, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Automotive, Philadelphia, Getaround, Toyota Motor Corporation, Zaid, Sam Zaid, San Diego Two, TechCrunch Getaround


Softbank invests in parking startup ParkJockey pushing valuation to $1 billion

Softbank continues to invest in the future of transportation — this time in ParkJockey, a startup that has built a technology platform aimed monetizing parking lots. And ParkJockey, which was founded in 2013, is already using that capital to scale up. Along with the Softbank investment news, ParkJockey also announced that it was acquiring two of the largest parking operators in North America. The startup, with help from Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Capital and debt financing from Owl Rock, said it h...
Tags: Travel, Transportation, Softbank, Automotive, Parking, North America, Abu Dhabi, SoftBank Group, Mubadala Capital, Miami Herald Miami, ParkJockey, Citizens Parking Inc, Owl Rock, Imperial Parking Corporation a North


Cruise Automation taps GM president Dan Ammann as its new CEO

Cruise Automation, the self-driving car subsidiary of GM, is getting a new CEO. The autonomous vehicle company, which was acquired by GM in 2016 and became subsidiary GM Cruise, has tapped Dan Ammann as CEO. Ammann will step down as GM’s president, a role he’s held since January 2014. Kyle Vogt, a Cruise co-founder who was CEO and also unofficially handled the chief technology officer position, is staying with the company. Vogt will now become president and CTO. The changes take effect Jan...
Tags: TC, Softbank, San Francisco, Tech, General-motors, Cruise, Automotive, Mary Barra, Gm, Automotive Industry, Honda, Seattle, Cto, Dan, Kyle, Dan Ammann


China’s Didi adds driver training program to counter sharp decline in rides

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company by number of users, has been struggling to recover from a major setback following the deaths of two passengers earlier this year. On Wednesday, its founder and CEO Cheng Wei released a letter detailing the company’s moves to step up safety oversight and meet new government rules, including a training program for drivers. The Softbank-backed transportation giant, which acquired Uber’s China-based service in 2016 and was last valued at $56 bill...
Tags: Uber, Asia, China, Softbank, Tech, Ceo, Automotive, Alibaba, Transport, Carsharing, Ridesharing, Meituan-dianping, Cheng, Didi, Ministry of Transportation, SoftBank Group


GM’s self-driving unit Cruise is expanding to Seattle

Cruise, the self-driving company acquired by GM in 2016, is expanding to Seattle as it seeks out more engineering talent to develop its technology. The company doesn’t have any plans right now to test its autonomous vehicles in the city. Instead, GM Cruise plans to set up offices in Seattle to attract and hire between 100 to 200 engineers by the end of 2019. “To continue growing a team that is diverse and rich in talent, we feel that it’s important to explore talent pools outside of the Bay Area...
Tags: Transportation, Softbank, San Francisco, Tech, Cruise, Automotive, Gm, Honda, Seattle, Self-driving Car, Bay Area, Kyle Vogt, California Department of Motor Vehicles, GM Cruise


Grab pulls in $250M from Hyundai as ongoing round reaches $2.7B

Grab, the Singapore startup that bought Uber’s Southeast Asia business earlier this year, continues to announce strategic investors for its ongoing Series H funding round. The latest edition revealed today is Korean automotive firm Hyundai, which is investing $250 million. Hyundai first invested in Grab in January, and it joins recently announced investors Microsoft (undisclosed) and Booking Holdings ($200 million) in the round, which is aimed at reaching at least $3 billion before the end of...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, TC, Uber, Asia, Microsoft, Indonesia, China, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Collaborative Consumption, Softbank, Funding, Tech, Thailand, Automotive, United States


GM looks to cut costs by offering buyouts to 18,000 employees

General Motors has offered voluntary buyouts to 18,000 salaried employees in North America who have at least 12 years of experience, as the automaker looks to cut costs all while investing in its electric and autonomous future. The company has described this as a proactive measure aimed at preparing for coming headwinds such as  slow sales in North America and China, commodity prices and tariffs. But it’s just as much about preparing for the future. The company has been undergoing a transformati...
Tags: TC, Electric Vehicle, Europe, China, Softbank, Tech, General-motors, Automotive, Mary Barra, Gm, Michigan, North America, Chevrolet, Opel, LG Electronics, GM GM


SoftBank and Toyota team up to develop services powered by self-driving vehicles

SoftBank is getting into self-driving car services after the Japanese tech giant announced a joint-venture with Toyota in its native Japan. SoftBank is invested in Uber and a range of other ride-hailing startups like Didi in China and Grab in Southeast Asia, but this initiative with Toyota is not related to those deals. Instead, it is designed to combine SoftBank’s focus on internet-of-things technology and Toyota’s connected vehicle services platform to enable new types of services that r...
Tags: Amazon, Food, TC, Uber, Asia, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Softbank, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Transport, Pizza Hut, Toyota, Baidu


Honda commits $2.75 billion to build autonomous vehicles with GM’s Cruise

Honda will commit $2.75 billion as part of an agreement with GM and its self-driving technology subsidiary Cruise to develop and produce a new kind of autonomous vehicle. As part of the agreement, Honda will invest $2 billion over the next 12 years into the effort. Honda is also making an immediate and direct equity investment of $750 million into Cruise, which pushes the company’s valuation up to $14.6 billion. The milestone agreement follows the giant $2.25 billion investment made by Softbank’...
Tags: Travel, Google, Softbank, San Francisco, General-motors, Cruise, Automotive, Mary Barra, Gm, Self-driving Cars, Honda, Chevy Bolt, Autonomous Vehicle, Dan Ammann, Vogt, Kyle Vogt


In recruiting win, GM’s Cruise employees offered equity in Cruise

In what will be seen as a big recruiting and retention win for Cruise, employees will be offered equity in GM’s self-driving technology subsidiary rather than shares of GM. The securities offering was disclosed in a recent SEC filing for GM Cruise Holdings LLC. The filing, which also lists the initial officers of GM Cruise Holdings LLC, is a result of SoftBank’s investment in Cruise earlier this year. SoftBank’s Vision Fund announced in May plans to invest $2.25 billion in Cruise. Once that d...
Tags: Google, Transportation, Softbank, Tech, Cruise, Automotive, Ford, Mary Barra, Gm, SEC, General Counsel, General-motors, Spyker, Ramsey, Vogt, Kyle Vogt


Uber’s Indian rival Ola is aiming for an IPO in 3-4 years

Ola, Uber’s chief rival in India, is planning to go public potentially as soon as in three years time, according to its CEO. Co-founder and chief executive officer Bhavish Aggarwal told the audience at an event in Bengaluru last week that seven-year-old Ola is poised to become a cash flow positive business — having recently hit operational profitability — and that’s a key driver towards a listing. That’s despite intense rumors of a tie-up with Uber following a spree of global exits from th...
Tags: Uber, Apps, Asia, Internet, Ipo, Southeast Asia, Collaborative Consumption, India, Softbank, Tech, Ceo, Automotive, United States, Transport, Commuting, Judge


Baidu and Softbank’s SB Drive are bringing an autonomous bus service to Japan

Chinese search engine giant Baidu have partnered with Softbank subsidiary SB Drive and manufacturer King Long to deploy a self-driving mini bus service to Japan early next year. The agreement was announced at Create Baidu, the company’s annual AI developer conference in Beijing.  Under the agreement, a version of Baidu’s Apolong autonomous mini bus will be exported to Japan from China in early 2019. This agreement, which for now includes an order of 10 buses, marks the first time autonomous v...
Tags: Japan, China, Softbank, Tech, Beijing, Automotive, Baidu, Xiamen, SAE International, Fujian province Baidu, Beijing Shenzhen Pingtan, China Apolong, King Long


Baidu just made its 100th autonomous bus ahead of commercial launch in China

Baidu is preparing to launch a driverless service in China — and elsewhere — with another update to its Apollo autonomous driving platform and the mass production of Apolong, an autonomous mini bus that seats up to 14 people. Baidu made the announcements at Baidu Create 2018, the company’s annual AI developer conference. Baidu has started volume production of the autonomous mini buses in partnership with Chinese manufacturer King Long. The buses are being produced at King Long’s manufacturing...
Tags: Travel, Japan, China, Softbank, Automotive, Baidu, Wuhan, Xiamen, China Baidu, SoftBank Group, Robin Li, SAE International, Fujian province Baidu, Beijing Baidu, Beijing Shenzhen Pingtan, Apolong


Nauto will notify drivers when they’re distracted in real-time

Nauto, the transportation company that aims to make human drivers safer and train autonomous vehicles for all types of scenarios, has just launched Prevent. Nauto Prevent is designed to prevent distracted driving by notifying drivers when they’ve had their eyes off the road for too long. Nauto Prevent’s notifications are dependent upon factors like how long you’ve had your eyes averted from the road and how fast you’re driving. If you’ve been distracted for more than five seconds and are driving...
Tags: Startups, Transportation, Softbank, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Autonomous Vehicles, Self-driving, Autonomous Driving, NAUTO, Stefan Heck, Heck, General Motors Ventures Toyota AI Ventures


SoftBank Vision Fund To Invest Over 2 Billion In GM Cruise

The SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings LLC, a move aimed at strengthening the company’s plans to commercialize and scale autonomous vehicle technology. General Motors will also invest $1.1 billion in GM Cruise upon closing of the SoftBank Vision Fund transaction. “Our Cruise and GM teams together have made tremendous progress over the last two years,” explained GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we purs...
Tags: Softbank, General Motors, Mary Barra, Gm, Autos, Department Of Transportation, Detroit Michigan, Dan Ammann, Ronen, Car News, Future Of Transportation, GM Cruise, Steve Fecht, SoftBank Vision Fund, Vision Fund, SoftBank Investment Advisers


Why SoftBank invested $2.25 billion in Cruise

Earlier today, General Motors’ Cruise received a $2.25 billion investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Once that deal closes, GM will invest another $1.1 billion. SoftBank landed on Cruise because it’s one of “a handful that in our view have a meaningful opportunity in front of them,” SoftBank Vision Fund Managing Partner Michael Ronen told TechCrunch. Cruise’s integrated play of hardware and software attracted SoftBank, Ronen said, as well as the fact that Cruise’s spirit, creativity and ene...
Tags: Transportation, Softbank, Funding, Tech, General Motors, Cruise, Automotive, Gm, Tokyo, Cto, SoftBank Group Corp, Masayoshi Son, Dan Ammann, Vogt, Ronen, Tomohiro Ohsumi Getty


Japan’s SoftBank Dumps Cash Into America’s Autonomous Vehicles, Sets GM Deadline for 2019

Several months after procuring a large ownership stake in Uber, SoftBank has placed $2.5 billion into General Motors’ self-driving program. The automaker intends to begin deploying autonomous vehicles next year and CEO Mary Barra says her company will invest $1.1 billion of its own funds into the effort to ensure the timeline is adhered to. Thanks […] The post Japan’s SoftBank Dumps Cash Into America’s Autonomous Vehicles, Sets GM Deadline for 2019 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.
Tags: Japan, Technology, Softbank, Tech, General Motors, E-commerce, Development, Mary Barra, Gm, Autos, Autonomous Vehicles, Avs, Corporate Partnerships, News Blog, Product Planning, High Finance


Waymo expands autonomous driving partnership with Fiat Chrysler

On the same day of a massive $2.25 billion Softbank investment into General Motors’ Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is announcing an expanded partnership with Waymo that will add up to 62,000 more Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Waymo’s self-driving car fleet later this year. This isn’t too surprising, given Waymo said earlier this year that it had ordered thousands of new Chrysler Pacifica’s from FCA. Waymo and FCA are also exploring ways to license Waymo’s self-driving car technolo...
Tags: TC, Transportation, California, Softbank, San Francisco, Tech, Automotive, Fca, Chrysler, Jaguar, John Krafcik, Fiat Chrysler, Chrysler Pacifica, Sergio Marchionne, Autonomous Driving, Waymo


GM’s Cruise gets $2.25b from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, $1.1b from GM

General Motors today announced a large investment into its self-driving unit, Cruise. SoftBank’s Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings LLC and when the deal closes, GM will invest an additional $1.1 billion. The investments are expected to inject enough capital into Cruise for the unit to reach commercialization at scale beginning in 2019. An important milestone on our journey to safely deploy self-driving cars at scale. Incredibly proud of what the @Cruise team has a...
Tags: Softbank, New York City, San Francisco, Tech, General Motors, Cruise, Automotive, Mary Barra, Gm, Dan Ammann, Kyle Vogt, GM Cruise, Chevy Bolts, Vision Fund, SoftBank s Vision Fund, GM Cruise Holdings LLC


Uber’s competition in Japan heats up thanks to Didi, Softbank, and Toyota

Uber has had a tumultuous relationship with its major Asian investors. Now, things are getting more complicated. Didi and SoftBank are working together to bring ridesharing services to Japan. Worse yet, Toyota has invested in JapanTaxi. The post Uber’s competition in Japan heats up thanks to Didi, Softbank, and Toyota appeared first on Digital Trends.
Tags: Uber, Business, Japan, Softbank, Cars, Trends, Toyota, Didi, Didi SoftBank, Japan Worse yet Toyota


Uber investors Didi and SoftBank team up to create a Japanese competitor

Uber has long had a tumultuous relationship with two of its major Asian investors, and now, things are getting more complicated still. Didi and SoftBank are working together to bring ride-hailing services to Japan. The post Uber investors Didi and SoftBank team up to create a Japanese competitor appeared first on Digital Trends.
Tags: Uber, Business, Japan, Softbank, Cars, Trends, Didi


Didi and SoftBank, Uber’s investors, team up to create a Japanese competitor

Uber has long had a tumultuous relationship with two of its major Asian investors, and now, things are getting more complicated still. Didi and SoftBank are working together to bring ride-hailing services to Japan. The post Didi and SoftBank, Uber’s investors, team up to create a Japanese competitor appeared first on Digital Trends.
Tags: Uber, Business, Japan, Softbank, Cars, Trends, Didi, SoftBank Uber


Benchmark’s lawsuit against former Uber CEO Kalanick dismissed

 It’s over. Benchmark’s lawsuit against former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has now been dropped, ending one of the biggest VC-founder disputes in history. It was dismissed as a condition of the SoftBank investment in Uber getting done. The deal was completed earlier this month, giving both Benchmark and Kalanick an opportunity to sell a significant Uber stake. Read More
Tags: Travel, Startups, TC, Uber, Lawsuit, Softbank, Automotive, Travis Kalanick, Kalanick



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