June 2, 2020 / 4:42 AM / a month ago

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

A Volkswagen logo is seen on a new car model at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

(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 Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co (F.N), which made an initial investment in Argo shortly after it was founded.

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

Volkswagen’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, Volkswagen 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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