- Aurora Innovation purchased Uber’s self-driving section in December and is going public through a merger with special purpose acquisition firm Reinvent Technology Partners Y.
- The merged firm, which will be traded on Nasdaq under the ticker name AUR, is expected to be worth $13 billion.
- In four years, Aurora has progressed from a buzzy startup to a publicly listed corporation via SPAC.
- Reinvent Technology Partners Y, their third SPAC that is currently merging with Aurora, priced its initial public offering of 85 million shares at $10 per unit to raise $850 million.
Aurora Innovation, the self-driving car startup that purchased Uber’s self-driving section in December, is going public through a merger with special purpose acquisition firm Reinvent Technology Partners Y.
The merged firm, which will be traded on Nasdaq under the ticker name AUR, is expected to be worth $13 billion. Aurora was recently valued at $10 billion when it purchased Uber’s self-driving business.
Aurora will receive $1 billion in funding from private investors, including Baillie Gifford, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), 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.
According to the merged business, it expects to have about $2.5 billion in cash at completion, including up to $977.5 million in cash retained in Reinvent’s trust account following its first public offering, which concluded on March 18, 2021, according to regulatory filings.
CEO and co-founder Chris Urmson’s Verdicts
In an interview Thursday, CEO and co-founder Chris Urmson stated, “This is a huge next step for the firm.” “Of course, we need to get our product to market, but we couldn’t be happier for our team, the resources this deal provides, and our partners.”
In four years, Aurora has progressed from a buzzy startup to a publicly listed corporation via SPAC. Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell, and Urmson formed the firm in 2017, all of whom had prior experience working on autonomous vehicle technologies.
In December, the business signed an agreement with Uber to acquire the ride-hailing giant’s self-driving unit in a complicated transaction valued at $10 billion for the merged company. Aurora did not pay cash for Uber ATG, a business valued at $7.25 billion following a $1 billion investment in 2019 from Toyota, DENSO, and SoftBank’s Vision Fund, under the terms of that purchase.
Instead, Uber sold its stake in ATG and invested $400 million in Aurora. According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Uber got a 26 percent interest in the merged firm.
Aurora has spent the last several months integrating Uber ATG personnel and currently employs around 1,600 individuals. Aurora has announced a collaboration with Volvo to build self-driving semi-trucks for North America. This multi-year cooperation, which will be managed by Volvo’s Autonomous Solutions business, will focus on developing and deploying vehicles designed to run autonomously on roads between Volvo clients’ centers.
Hoffman, Pincus, and Thompson have pushed the notion of “venture capital at scale.” To date, SPACs have served as a conduit for reaching that scale. Three SPACs, or blank-check businesses, have been created by the trio.
Two of these SPACs have merged with private firms. In February, Reinvent Technology Partners announced a merger with Joby Aviation, an electric vertical take-off and landing firm that will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. Hippo, a home insurance company, has merged with Reinvent Technology Partners Z.
Reinvent Technology Partners Y, their third SPAC that is currently merging with Aurora, priced its initial public offering of 85 million shares at $10 per unit to raise $850 million. According to regulatory documents, the SPAC issued an extra 12.7 million shares to cover over-allotments, for total gross revenue of $977 million. The units are traded on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol “RTPYU.”
How is the Aurora-Reinvent SPAC union beneficial?
Aurora is already involved with Hoffman. Aurora received $90 million in February 2018 from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures. As part of the Series A financing, Hoffman, a Greylock partner, and Index Ventures’ Mike Volpi joined the Aurora board of directors. Aurora secured more than $530 million in a Series B investment headed by Sequoia Capital and including Amazon and T. Rowe Price Associates the following year. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Geodesic, Shell Ventures, and Reinvent Capital joined prior investors Greylock and Index Ventures in the round.