Former Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt launches new venture

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Kyle Vogt, then president and CTO of Cruise, delivered a keynote in 2019.

Kyle Vogt, then president and CTO of Cruise, delivered a Robotics Summit & Expo keynote in 2019. Source: WTWH Media

Kyle Vogt, the co-founder and former CEO of autonomous vehicle developer Cruise LLC, has launched a new startup: The Bot Company. Vogt posted to LinkedIn that the company has already raised $150 million from investors, but he didn’t give many details of its plans for service or household robots.

Paril Jain, chief technology officer and former tech lead and AI manager at Tesla, is a co-founder of the company. Luke Holoubek, an engineer at The Bot Company, is former technical advisor to the CTO at Cruise. 

“So many things compete for our time — commutes, longer working hours, and the complexities of modern life,” wrote Vogt. “Our team has spent years building robots (including the self-driving kind) that give people some of that time back, and we’re taking that a step further with this company.”

Nat Friedman, a California-based investor; Daniel Gross, an angel investor in businesses like SpaceX, Stripe, and Instacart; and Nabeel Hyatt, a general partner at Spark Capital, led the investment round. The round also included participation from Quiet Capital, Patrick Collison, John Collison, Elad Gil, Fifty Years, and more.

Vogt brings startup experience to new venture

Vogt started Cruise in 2013 with Dan Kan. General Motors acquired Cruise in 2016. In 2019, he was a keynote speaker at the Robotics Summit & Expo. In February 2022, Vogt took over as CEO.

In November 2023, Vogt left Cruise, saying his future plans include spending time with family and “exploring new ideas.”

Vogt’s resignation came after a difficult few weeks for Cruise. The company’s troubles began on October 2, when a Cruise robotaxi dragged a woman after she was hit by a different car driven by a human. After being hit by the first car, the woman was thrown into the path of the Cruise vehicle, which couldn’t brake in time to avoid her.

On October 24, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended Cruise’s autonomous vehicle deployment and driverless testing permits. The DMV said it suspended the permits because Cruise vehicles posed a risk to the public based on a string of recent incidents and because the company “misrepresented” the safety of its robotaxis.

Vogt’s experience funding companies didn’t start with Cruise, however. He was a co-founder of, eventually the parent company of In 2014, Amazon purchased Twitch for $970 million.

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