Autonomous vehicle software development company Applied Intuition Inc. has entered an agreement to acquire self-driving truck software company Embark Technology Inc. in an all-cash transaction for $71 million.
Founded in 2016, Embark designs automotive-grade self-driving software that uses machine learning for perception while relying on a safety-redundant computing system. The company’s custom-built hardware platform, pitched as being able to transform any fleet into an autonomous one, is optimized for autonomy and has over 1.5 million miles of autonomous operations conducted on highways.
Embark went public via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II in 2021, raising approximately $614 million in cash proceeds, including a $200 million private investment from several private equity firms. The SPAC merger valued Embark at $5.2 billion, a stark contrast to its sales price today of $71 million.
The first sign that Embark was in serious trouble emerged in March when the company laid off 230 employees – approximately 70% of its workforce and closed its offices in California and Texas. At the time, it was noted that the company was struggling to deploy its technology successfully – arguably a nice way of saying they’d managed to burn hundreds of millions of investor money without success.
Applied Intuition said that it would integrate Embark’s internal tools, data and software assets to improve its offerings for customers in the trucking and automotive industries. Embark will retire its fleet of test vehicles as part of the transaction. Some Embark employees are expected to remain post-acquisition to support Applied and expand the company’s suite of product offerings.
“This acquisition should enable us to advance our products and solve more specific, complex challenges for our customers,” Qasar Younis, co-founder and chief executive officer of Applied Intuition, said in a blog post. “We respect the work Embark has accomplished in the autonomous vehicle industry and look forward to leveraging their expertise to better serve our global customer base.”
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to approval by Embark shareholders and other customary closing conditions.
Image: Embark Technologies
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