Self Driving company Aurora to go public with SPAC merger with Reinvent. Aurora expects to have $2.5 billion in cash after closing, with the deal raising roughly $2 billion in total, including a $1 billion committed PIPE at a pre-transaction equity valuation of $11 billion.
- Aurora is expected to launch its first autonomous product at the end of 2023
- Positioned to capture both the trucking and passenger mobility market, Aurora is partnered with PACCAR, Volvo Group, Uber, and Toyota
- Volvo Group, PACCAR, and Uber are also committed investors in PIPE
- Up to four-year lock-up and price-based vesting on Reinvent’s founder shares and four-year lock-up for Aurora founders, directors, and certain material shareholders ensures long-term alignment
Aurora, the self-driving technology firm, has signed a final merger agreement with Reinvent Technology Partners Y (“Reinvent”) (NASDAQ: RTPY), a special purpose acquisition company with a sponsor team that invests in “venture capital at scale.” The combined business will be known as Aurora Innovation, Inc. and will be publicly traded, with its common stock likely to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AUR after the proposed transaction is completed.
Aurora was founded in 2017 by self-driving industry specialists with the goal of delivering the benefits of self-driving technology in a safe, timely, and widespread manner. The Aurora Driver, a platform that brings together software, hardware, and data services to autonomously run passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks, is being developed by the firm to convey both people and commodities.
Investors and Aurora partners have committed $1 billion in a 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.
Self Driving company Aurora
Founded in 2017 by self-driving luminaries Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell, and Chris Urmson, Aurora is on a mission to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. Led by a management team with deep technical and industry experience, the approximately 1,600 Aurora employees are developing next-generation technology and building the business to bring it to market at scale.
“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,” said 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.”
“We believe Aurora will be the first to commercialize self-driving technology at scale for the U.S. trucking and passenger transportation markets based on its industry-leading team, technology, and partnerships,” said Mark Pincus, Co-Founder, and Director of Reinvent Technology Partners Y.
Next-Generation Technology Built for Scale
The Aurora Driver is being developed as an L4 autonomous driver system that’s designed to power multiple vehicle types, from passenger sedans to Class 8 trucks, to move safely and efficiently through the world without a human driver. Aurora’s industry-defining technology was developed to accelerate progress toward the wide-scale deployment of the Aurora Driver. Aurora’s technology investments across the self-driving stack are extensive and include, for example, its holistically designed and deeply integrated hardware and software, including its long-range, multi-modal sensing suite with FirstLight Lidar. Other examples include its robust Virtual Testing Suite, next-generation approaches to perception and decision-making, and its HD mapping system, the Aurora Atlas.
Rapid Market Entry with Strategic Partnerships
Aurora expects to launch first in trucking, a $700 billion market with attractive unit economics, in late 2023. Leveraging the self-driving capabilities matured in trucking, Aurora is expecting to rapidly expand into adjacent verticals including last-mile delivery and ride-hailing.
Delivered as a service, and built for scale, the Aurora Driver is positioned to address the industry’s most compelling opportunities in the enormous $9.4 trillion global trucking, last-mile delivery, and ride-hailing market. Aurora is working to increase access to transportation, increase the speed and efficiency of moving goods, and make the movement of goods and people safer.
Aurora’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.
Maximizing Alignment, Transaction Agreement Includes Up to Four Year Lock-up
Reinvent believes in structuring its transactions to ensure long-term alignment with the companies in which it invests. Consistent with this approach, Reinvent and Aurora have agreed to a lock-up on founder shares held by Reinvent’s sponsor and its directors for up to four years. Certain major stockholders, key executives, and board members of Aurora have agreed to a similar lock-up on their shares and priced-based vesting for Reinvent sponsor shares.
The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the transaction committee of Reinvent and the board of directors of Aurora. Reinvent formed the transaction committee, consisting of all of the members of its board of directors other than Karen Francis, to evaluate and make any decision on behalf of the full board of directors with respect to a proposed transaction with Aurora. Ms. Francis, who is also a director of TuSimple, is not a member of the transaction committee, was not permitted to attend any sessions of the transaction committee, and has recused herself from discussions of Reinvent’s board of directors about the proposed transaction and voting as a director on matters related to the proposed transaction. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder, a non-voting observer on Reinvent’s board of directors and a member of Aurora’s board of directors, is not a member of the transaction committee, was not permitted to attend any sessions of the transaction committee, and has recused himself from discussions and decisions of Reinvent’s board about the proposed transaction. Mr. Hoffman also recused himself from discussions of Aurora’s board of directors and management about the proposed transaction and from voting on matters related to the proposed transaction.
The proposed transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the approval of shareholders of Reinvent and the stockholders of Aurora. Following the closing of the proposed transaction, Aurora expects that Mr. Hoffman will remain a member of its board of directors.
The pro forma implied market capitalization of the combined company is $13 billion, at the $10.00 per share PIPE subscription price and assuming no public shareholders of Reinvent exercise their redemption rights. The combined company is expected to have approximately $2.5 billion in cash at closing, including up to approximately $977.5 million of cash held in Reinvent’s trust account from its initial public offering which closed on March 18, 2021, assuming no public shareholders of Reinvent exercise their redemption rights. The proposed transaction is also supported by $1 billion PIPE at $10 per share. Investors include funds and accounts managed by Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), PRIMECAP Management Company and XN, Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Reinvent Capital, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Uber, PACCAR, and Volvo Group.
Existing Aurora stockholders are expected to own approximately 84 percent of the pro forma combined company following the close of the proposed transaction.
Allen & Company LLC is serving as financial advisor to Aurora and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. is acting as its legal counsel. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Reinvent and as the sole placement agent on the PIPE transaction, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal counsel to Reinvent. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as legal counsel to the placement agent. Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to the Reinvent transaction committee.
About Reinvent Technology Partners Y
Reinvent Technology Partners Y is a special purpose acquisition company led by Mark Pincus, Michael Thompson, and Reid Hoffman. Reinvent Technology Partners Y was formed to support a technology business to innovate and achieve entrepreneurship at scale by leveraging its team’s operating experience as founders of iconic technology companies, their experience building companies as advisors and board members, and the capital raised in its initial public offering.