Ford Invest in Cloud Computing

Seeking to boost its software expertise ahead of the shift towards electric and autonomous cars, Ford Motor Co. will invest $182.2 million in Pivotal Software Inc., the cloud-computing joint venture of EMC Corp. and VMware Inc.

The investment gives the automaker a stake of about 6.6 percent in San Francisco-based Pivotal, Ford said. Microsoft will also invest in a financing round that totals $253 million, Pivotal said, adding that it has no set plans for a public share sale. This is an option EMC Chief Executive Officer Joe Tucci said, in October, could happen in the “not-too-distant future.” For Pivotal, the investments bring in cash to fund operations at a time when an IPO now seems unlikely for the next year or two, according to a person familiar with Pivotal’s thinking.

Ford has been working to build ties in Silicon Valley. The 113-year-old car maker expanded a research lab in Palo Alto, California, last year and this year created a new unit, Ford Smart Mobility, to expand its presence and partnerships in the tech-focused region. CEO Mark Fields says he wants Ford to be viewed as both an automotive and mobility company to encompass its efforts in driver-less cars and ride-sharing.

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