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GM joins other carmakers investing in self-driving startup Nauto

The GM logo is seen in Warren, Michigan, U.S. on October 26, 2015.

Rebecca Cook/File Photo

(Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) and Japan's Softbank Group Corp (9984.T) are among the latest investors in Nauto, a Silicon Valley startup developing software for self-driving vehicles.

Nauto, based in Palo Alto, said on Tuesday it closed a $159 million Series B funding round, led by Softbank and venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Previous investors included German automaker BMW AG (BMWG.DE) and Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), as well as German insurance firm Allianz (ALVG.DE).

Nauto is unusual in attracting money from big-name automakers, and also in its focus on software and data, which cost less to develop than hardware or entire vehicles.

"Any (vehicle) manufacturer is better...