Driverless vehicle start-up Aurora to go public in $11bn Spac merger

Aurora, a self-driving car startup backed by Amazon and Uber, has announced plans to open in a merger with a blank check company, achieving a stock market listing and consuming large amounts of such cash. A test of an investor’s desire for a venture.

Aurora announced Thursday that it will merge with a structured company founded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and tech entrepreneur Mark Pincus.

The deal will value Aurora at $ 11 billion and will provide nearly $ 2 billion in new funding. As a result, it is possible to “launch the first autonomous product at the end of 2023.”

The Bay Area company, which has 1,600 employees, Pioneer of unmanned driving technology — CEO Chris Urmson, Tesla’s Autopilot initiative, Sterling Anderson, and Uber Self-Driving Group, Aurora was acquired last December.

Aurora was founded in 2016 in the midst of a boom in robotaxi start-ups that rival Google’s self-driving car project. For this project, he was the lead engineer until Urmson departed in 2015.

The deal gives Aurora a $ 1 billion new from a consortium that includes Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, in addition to $ 850 million raised by Hoffman and Pincus Spack, Reinvent Technology Partners Y. You have access to your investment.

Aurora’s $ 11 billion valuation has risen from $ 10 billion when it acquired the Uber business last year, and has recently been added to its rival self-driving car ventures Cruise and Waymo, which are Alphabet units evolving from Google’s self-driving project. Compared to a valuation of over $ 30 billion.

Unlike GM support cruise And Waymo, Aurora has not built a large fleet of prototype vehicles for testing on the road. Instead, it focuses on testing in the simulation world, claiming a “drive” equivalent to 22m miles each day.

“We have invested heavily in simulation and virtual development tools,” Urmson told the Financial Times. He added that the particular focus on virtual driving is a “significant cost advantage.”

Aurora also downgraded the initial focus of robotaxis, Unmanned semi-truck. Earlier this year, we signed a partnership between Peterbilt and Kenworth heavy-duty truck manufacturers Volvo Trucks and Packers. Together, these groups have a total market share of over 50% in the United States.

We also have partnerships with Uber, Toyota and Denso, a Japanese parts supplier. Uber, Paccar and Volvo are contributing $ 1 billion in new funding.

Aurora said Thursday that it expects a cash outflow of $ 535 million this year and a $ 3.7 billion outflow over the next five years. After the Spac deal is closed, the company will have $ 2.5 billion in cash.

Shares in Reinvent Technology Partners Y rose 2% on news of the merger.

Hoffman and Pincus are currently trading Spac in a row.Another of their blank check companies bought a flying taxi startup Joby Aviation Earlier this year.

According to Pincus, all Aurora trading investors have agreed to a longer-than-usual four-year lockup, while regular Spac investors have agreed to just six months or a year.

“Aurora isn’t driving live demos, it’s focusing on large-scale, real-world commercialization, and it’s repeating very quickly for very difficult problems,” said Pincus. .. “Everything they do is focused on launching real commercial large-scale solutions because they reduce hardware costs and work closely with OEMs.”

Driverless vehicle start-up Aurora to go public in $11bn Spac merger Source link Driverless vehicle start-up Aurora to go public in $11bn Spac merger

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