Walmart Invests $2.75 Billion in Electric Self-Driving Company Cruise

Walmart announced on Thursday a $2.75 billion (USD) investment into General Motors-backed Cruise, an autonomous delivery vehicle company based out of San Francisco (via Reuters).

Cruise and Walmart have been working together since last November on a delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona, and with the investment, Walmart is looked to work towards a zero-emissions future.

Walmart and Cruise plan for the investment to go towards low-cost, scalable production of Cruise’s “last mile delivery” ecosystem. The investment comes on the heels of a major fundraising round for Cruise, in which the company has successfully raised its valuation to over $30 billion (USD).

A spokesperson for Cruise told Reuters, “We are focused on our path to commercialization right now but the IPOs happening in the space right now are a great indication of the strength of the industry and the opportunity self-driving presents.”

Cruise said on Monday that it plans to start delivering a limited quantity of its Origin vehicles, autonomous cars set for us as ride-hail services in Dubai beginning in 2023. The move also marks the company’s first business outside of the US.

“This investment is a marker for us – it shows our commitment to bringing the benefit of self-driving cars to our customers and business. We’re excited to join Cruise’s already impressive partner and investor ecosystem with the likes of GM, Honda and Microsoft as we work toward pioneering this emerging technology,” said John Furner, President and CEO, Walmart USA, in a statement.

Last year, Walmart also placed an order for 130 Tesla Semis, which is still considered the largest Tesla Semi order to date.