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ISSUE – Nov. 15 | Venture Capital Firm Navigates Uncharted Course to Success

Betting on an automated driving start-up in 2015 may not have been the most intuitive gamble at a time when Google and Uber had already declared that self-driving vehicles were among their top research priorities. But in the fall of 2015, Spark Capital was one of a few established venture capital firms to wade into the industry, helping lead a $12.5 million investment in Cruise Automation, a start-up based in San Francisco whose software helps cars pilot themselves. One of Spark’s partners became the only outside board member of the firm. It was a bet that paid off quickly: Within six months, Cruise sold itself to General Motors for about $1 billion. [ NY Times ]

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