Aurora, a start-up developing autonomous vehicles, is close to an agreement to merge with Reinvent Technology Partners Y. Such a merger would allow Aurora to go public.
Reinvent Technology Partners Y is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) started by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, and Michael Thompson, reports TechCrunch. Following the classic PSPC process, it has already completed its IPO with the aim of then merging with Aurora (a private company) to avoid it going through the traditional IPO process.
What valuation to aim for?
One of the sticking points is targeted valuation, which has so far stood at $ 20 billion, according to TechCrunch. It would now be set at around $ 12 billion, and the deal is expected to be announced in the coming days. Aurora and Reinvent declined to comment on the information to TechCrunch.
Aurora already has ties to Reid Hoffman. The start-up raised $ 90 million in February 2018 from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures, two investment funds in which Reid Hoffman is a partner. The following year, the start-up raised more than $ 530 million from various investors, including Reinvent Capital.
Partnerships with Toyota, Denso and Volvo
Aurora was founded in 2017 by former executives from divisions of Google, Tesla and Uber working on autonomous driving. The start-up is working on both a software platform for trucks and a platform to equip light vehicles that can integrate a robot taxi service. It was brought to the fore when it acquired Uber ATG, the “autonomous vehicle” division of the VTC company, last December.
Since then, it has announced a partnership with Toyota and Denso to equip Sienna minivans with its platform and consider mass production of autonomous vehicles designed for on-demand transport services. Aurora has also forged a partnership with Volvo around autonomous trucks and bought start-ups specializing in Lidars, sensors that they consider essential to develop its autonomous driving system.