Ford-backed self-driving startup Argo AI clocks $7.5Bn valuation
US-based autonomous driving technology company Argo AI has hit $7.5 billion valuation, confirmed the official sources on Thursday.
The startup raised $2.6 billion from Volkswagen (VW) Group two-months ago and is also backed by automaker giant Ford. With this deal, both the investors will roughly own 40 per cent stake each in the company, while Argo’s co-founders and employees will continue to hold the remaining equity.
As per the deal, Volkswagen’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) unit has been merged with Argo AI. Besides, both Ford and VW will share the cost to develop automated vehicle technology of the startup.
Notably, Ford also reported $1.1 billion profit in the second-quarter of FY21 after it sold its stake in Argo to Volkswagen for $3.5 billion. However, the group’s revenue plunged 50 per cent year-on-year (YOY) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite these COVID-19 headwinds, we are still committed to the long-term pursuit of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). The AV journey will be a long one, but Ford is now well positioned to run this race and compete like few others can,” Ford CEO, Jim Hackett was quoted by TechCrunch as saying.
In 2017, Ford invested $1 billion in Argo AI when the startup was six months old. With Argo, the company ventured into the AV space.