Ford Expands Mobility Play with $182.2M Pivotal Investment

[Updated, 11:56am. See below] When Pivotal launched in 2013 with 1,250 employees and a valuation of over $1 billion, my colleague Wade Roush wrote that the cloud computing infrastructure firm “isn’t your typical startup.”

Further proof of that came yesterday when Ford announced it was plunking down more than $182 million to continue its collaboration with Pivotal. Alan Hall, Ford’s technology communications manager, said the auto manufacturer is interested in Pivotal because of its ability to teach Ford’s IT staff “modern software development techniques” and help with agile development, iterating, testing, and deployment of software.

“Pivotal comes in and works side by side with Ford employees to coach them on how to use these modern methods,” Hall explained. “Ultimately, Pivotal is a software-as-a-service provider helping our teams build applications, whether they’re consumer-facing or for back end.”

Hall said Ford has been working with Pivotal for several years on this kind of coaching, harnassing the company’s skills to build mobility pilot programs like FordPass and the dynamic shuttle currently being tested by employees. “It’s their algorithms that make the experience work,” he said.

According to Hall, Ford is planning to open several labs in the coming months solely focused on software development. “We haven’t announced the locations yet, but they’ll be in the U.S. and Europe.”

Pivotal, based in San Francisco, said its Series C funding round will total $253 million and also includes new investor Microsoft, as well as previous investors EMC, VMware, and GE. [This sentence added for context—Eds.]

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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