Wejo to go public, deal values autostart data at $ 800 million
Auto-data start-up Wejo, backed by General Motors Co (GM.N), will be made public through a reverse merger with blank check company Virtuoso Acquisition Corp (VOSO.O) in a deal that values the UK company at $ 800 million including debt, the companies said on Friday.
The deal will raise $ 330 million in revenue for Wejo, the companies said. This includes $ 230 million from the Special Purpose Acquisition Company’s Virtuoso (SPAC) and an additional $ 100 million called Private Investment in Public Capital (PIPE).
Wejo chief executive and founder Richard Barlow said institutional investors made up the bulk of PIPE, but declined to identify the companies involved. An additional $ 25 million could be raised next month as talks continue with other potential investors, he said.
Investors in PIPE include U.S. automaker No. 1 GM, which previously invested in Wejo, as well as data management firm Palantir Technologies Inc (PLTR.N), co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, Wejo said and Virtuoso. The size of their investments or holdings was not disclosed.
The $ 800 million enterprise value for Wejo implies an estimated pro forma equity value of $ 1.1 billion.
“The future is data and this is a company sitting there in the midst of this incredible wave of data to come,” Virtuoso CEO Jeffrey Warshaw said in an interview. “This whole opportunity to monetize it is almost limitless.”
The merger with Virtuoso is expected to end in the second half of the year, the companies said. The new company will trade under the symbol “WEJO” but the stock exchange has not been determined. Reuters previously said Wejo and Virtuoso were in talks. Read more
PSPCs are shell companies that raise funds to acquire a private company with the goal of going public, allowing these targets to avoid a traditional initial public offering (IPO) to enter public markets.
The valuation is down from the more than $ 2 billion that sources told Reuters in March that Wejo was hoping to achieve.
The PPCS market recently cooled amid fears of foamy valuations, and last month the SEC suggested that warrants issued by PSPCs should be accounted for as liabilities rather than equity instruments. Read more
Manchester-based Wejo organizes the data of nearly 11 million vehicles connected to the Internet via integrated modems for customers such as GM, Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and Daimler (DAIGn.DE).
Automakers can use the data generated from this connection to develop applications and services for fleets, smart cities and individuals, including advertising, fleet management, insurance, remote diagnostics, road assistance, parking availability and traffic information.
“Getting the right data software will be key to building the next best product,” said Kevin Kawasaki, Global Business Development Manager at Palantir.
Founded in 2014, Wejo, which means ‘we travel,’ has raised nearly $ 200 million according to PitchBook from investors such as GM, which acquired a significant stake in 2019, German automotive supplier Hella (HLE.DE) , DIP Capital and the UK Government.
Wejo estimates that by 2030, the connected vehicle data market will be worth $ 500 billion, creating an opportunity for revenue streams and more services for automakers and their customers, as well as greater efficiency for companies in product development. Wejo’s technology platform, ADEPT, allows automakers to organize the data collected in these vehicles.
On February 1, Wejo’s Israeli rival Otonomo said it would be made public as part of a SPAC merger with Software Acquisition Group Inc II. (SAII.O) find out more
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.