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Alan Diaz/AP

Ford Motors has made a strategic investment in Autonomic, a stealth Silicon Valley startup founded last summer, Axios has learned. According to an SEC filing (which does not mention Ford), Autonomic has raised nearly $11 million, but may add a bit more.

Team: Autonomic's founders were previously at Pivotal, a software development consulting firm in which Ford invested last year. CEO Sundeep Madra and COO Amar Varma co-founded Xtreme Labs, which built and designed mobile apps for its clients and sold to Pivotal 2013.

The company: Not much is known about what Autonomic is building, except that it's working on software related to self-driving cars. That information came from Chamath Palihapitiya, a partner with VC firm Social Capital, who said on stage at a conference that his firm recently co-invested with Ford on a new company, although he did not identify Autonomic. Palihapitiya added that the deal was structured so that the automaker has been given the right to buy the company down the road. "And we'll see if they'll exercise that right," said Palihapitiya.

Self-driving race: Like other automakers, Ford is highly invested in building self-driving car technology. The Detroit giant is developing its own in-house and has invested in startups like sensor maker Velodyne and Civil Maps, which is working on high-definition 3D maps. It also recently acquired a majority stake in Argo, a company focused on artificial intelligence software self-driving cars.

Neither Ford, Social Capital nor Autonomic have returned requests for comment.

An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that Ford and Uber have a partnership. It has been updated.

Go deeper

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

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