June 2, 2020 / 4:05 AM / 2 months ago

Volkswagen closes $2.6 billion investment in self-driving startup Argo AI

FILE PHOTO - Signage at a Volkswagen dealership is seen in London, Britain, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) has closed its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup disclosed in a blog post on Tuesday.

Argo, founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, is now jointly controlled by VW and Ford Motor Co, which made an initial investment in Argo shortly after it was founded.

Details of the VW investment, which does not include an agreement to purchase $500 million worth of Argo stock from Ford, was announced last July.

VW’s agreement includes the transfer to Argo of its Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit, which boosts Argo’s employment to more than 1,000, according to Salesky.

Last week, VW disclosed that its supervisory board had approved several projects in a multibillion-dollar alliance with Ford that also was announced last July.

Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC in 2018, pledging to invest $4 billion until 2023 and had sought outside investors to help share the spiraling cost of developing autonomous vehicles.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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