Embark Trucks, a self-driving vehicle company, is set to go public in a deal valued at about $5.2 billion. The San Francisco-based startup is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp., a press release said.
“We have been solely focused on solving the problem of self-driving software for trucking since Embark’s CTO, Brandon Moak, and I founded the company in 2016,” said Alex Rodrigues, Embark’s CEO.
SPACs have grown in prominence over the past couple of years. A SPAC first goes public to raise cash, and then later buys up a takeover target.
The release said that “over the last five years, Embark has operated America’s longest-running road-testing program for self-driving trucks to refine the company’s sophisticated self-driving software.” The company said it partners with carriers, which pay a per-mile subscription cost for Embark’s software.
The deal for Embark is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. The boards of both companies have approved the deal.
Other self-driving trucking companies that have recently announced plans to go public include Plus and TuSimple. Self-driving truck startup Plus said last month (May 10) that it is going public via a $3.3 billion merger with the Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V (HCIC V). “We are on track to start mass production of autonomous trucks this year,” David Liu, CEO and co-founder of Plus, said in a press release at the time.
In April, autonomous truck company TuSimple said it had filed to go public through an initial public offering (IPO) of stock. The San Diego company estimated that the move would value TuSimple at nearly $8 billion. TuSimple filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laying out the details of a traditional IPO run by investment banks. “We believe that the benefits to stakeholders across the truck freight industry will accelerate the adoption of autonomous trucking,” the company said. “Shippers’, carriers’ and railroads’ needs continue to become increasingly complex as shipping timeline expectations shorten and onerous seasonal shipping requirements further burden the truck freight demand and supply balance.”