SPAC deal moves self-driving technology closer to commercialization

July 21, 2021 // By Rich Pell
SPAC deal moves self-driving technology closer to commercialization
Self-driving technology startup Aurora has announced that it has entered into a business combination agreement with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Reinvent Technology Partners Y (NASDAQ: RTPY) for the purpose of becoming a publicly traded company.

Founded in 2017, the company is developing the Aurora Driver - an L4 autonomous driver system designed to power multiple vehicle types to move safely and efficiently through the world without a human driver. The company expects to launch first in trucking in late 2023, after which it expects to rapidly expand into adjacent verticals including last-mile delivery and ride-hailing.

"Our goal at Aurora is to make the movement of goods and people more equitable, productive, dependable, and—crucially—much safer than it is today," says Chris Urmson, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aurora. "By combining with Reinvent and with this incredible group of investors, we are even closer to deploying self-driving vehicles and delivering the benefits this technology offers the world."

The company’s truck manufacturing partners, Volvo Group (which includes Volvo Autonomous Solutions) and PACCAR (which includes the Peterbilt and Kenworth brands) collectively represent approximately 50 percent of the Class 8 trucks sold in the U.S. market. As long-term committed partners, Volvo and PACCAR will help accelerate the development, validation, and deployment of self-driving trucks. Aurora is also expected to scale rapidly in passenger mobility with the support of Toyota, the world’s #1 OEM supplier, and Uber, the largest ride-hailing network globally by market-cap.

Investors and Aurora partners have committed $1 billion in a private investment in public equity (PIPE) and the proposed transaction represents an equity value of $11 billion for Aurora. Investors in the PIPE include Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., PRIMECAP Management Company, Reinvent Capital, XN, Fidelity Management and Research LLC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Index Ventures, and Sequoia Capital, as well as strategic investments from Uber, PACCAR, and Volvo Group.

The pro forma implied market capitalization of the combined company is $13 billion, at the $10.00 per share PIPE subscription price. The combined company is expected to have approximately

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