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Wejo to go public in deal that values auto data startup at $800M, report says

Auto information developer Wejo on Friday will announce plans to go public by way of a reverse merger with blank-check firm Virtuoso Acquisition Corp. in a deal that values the British firm at $800 million along with debt, people conversant within the plans knowledgeable Reuters.

The deal, to be launched after the inventory market closes, will enhance $330 million in proceeds for Wejo, talked about the sources, who requested to not be acknowledged. They talked about that consists of $230 million from Particular-Goal Acquisition Firm (SPAC) Virtuoso and one different $100 million known as Non-public Funding in Public Fairness (PIPE).

An additional $25 million could very properly be raised all through the following month as talks proceed with totally different potential consumers, the sources talked about.

Traders within the PIPE embrace No. 1 U.S. automaker Normal Motors, which beforehand invested in Wejo, along with information administration firm Palantir Applied sciences Inc., which billionaire Peter Thiel co-founded, the sources talked about.

The $800 million enterprise value for Wejo implies an estimated $1.1 billion skilled forma equity value, the sources talked about.

Wejo and Virtuoso declined to comment.

The merger with Virtuoso is anticipated to close within the second half of the yr, the sources talked about. The brand new firm will commerce beneath the picture “WEJO,” nevertheless the inventory commerce has not been determined, the sources talked about. Reuters had beforehand talked about Wejo and Virtuoso had been in talks.

SPACs are shell corporations that enhance funds to buy a private firm with the goal of taking it public, allowing such targets to sidestep a normal preliminary public offering (IPO) to enter public markets.

Wejo is led by CEO and founder Richard Barlow and Chairman Tim Lee, a former GM govt. Virtuoso’s CEO is Jeffrey Warshaw.

The valuation is down from the higher than $2 billion that sources knowledgeable Reuters in March that Wejo had hoped to acquire.

The SPAC market has cooled off simply these days amid fears of frothy valuations and ultimate month the SEC steered warrants issued by SPACs should be accounted for as liabilities instead of equity units.

Manchester-based Wejo organizes information from just about 11 million autos linked to the Web by way of embedded modems for such purchasers as GM, Hyundai Motor Co. and Daimler AG.

Automakers can use the info generated from that connection to develop apps and suppliers for fleets, wise cities and specific particular person customers, along with selling, fleet administration, insurance coverage protection, distant diagnostics, roadside assist, parking availability and website guests data.

Based in 2014, Wejo, which stands for “we journey,” has raised just about $200 million in accordance to PitchBook from such consumers as GM, which acquired a giant stake in 2019, German auto supplier Hella, DIP Capital and the British authorities.

Wejo estimates that by 2030, the linked automotive information market will most likely be worth $500 billion, making a risk for earnings streams and additional suppliers for automakers and their prospects, along with larger effectivity for corporations in product enchancment. Wejo’s experience platform, ADEPT, permits automakers to arrange the info collected in these autos.

On Feb. 1, Wejo’s Israeli rival Otonomo talked about it may go public in a SPAC merger with Software program Acquisition Group Inc II.

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