INTERNATIONAL - Argo AI, the self-driving start-up that just sealed a $2.6 billion (R36bn) investment from the world’s biggest carmaker, says there’s room in its partnership with Volkswagen and Ford for another manufacturer to fill a void in its global footprint in Asia.
Argo, founded by veterans of Uber Technologies and Alphabet’s Waymo autonomous-driving unit, will count Ford and VW as its two biggest investors.
Ford in 2016 pledged $1bn in funding, while its German rival joined in with the deal announced on Friday.
The automakers will have equal stakes in Argo and together will own a substantial majority of the start-up. Argo is open to partnering with another automaker, CE Bryan Salesky said in an interview.
He said Argo’s $7.25bn valuation will attract outside investors, similar to the investment SoftBank Group made in General Motors’s Cruise.
“We’ve got a strong global player, strong in Europe with VW and Ford being strong in the US. A third player is absolutely possible,” Salesky said. “And we would again look for the same thing. We’d want it to be a strategic relationship.”
Ford generates more than 60 percent of its revenue in the Americas, and less than 10 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.