Auto knowledge startup Wejo explores SPAC merger with Virtuoso

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(Reuters) — Wejo is in talks to go public by means of a reverse merger with blank-check firm Virtuoso Acquisition in a deal that will worth the British linked automobile knowledge start-up at greater than $1 billion, two folks accustomed to the matter stated.

The deal has not closed and phrases may nonetheless change, in line with the sources, who requested to not be recognized.

The perimeters additionally haven’t closed a deal to boost funding from buyers to assist the deal, the sources stated. Any such funding, which is known as Non-public Funding in Public Fairness (PIPE), is usually essential to finish an acquisition by a special-purpose acquisition firm, or SPAC.

Officers with Virtuoso and Wejo, which is backed by Common Motors, couldn’t instantly be reached to remark. Bloomberg earlier reported Virtuoso’s involvement.

SPACs are shell corporations that elevate funds to accumulate a non-public firm with the aim of taking it public, permitting such targets to sidestep a standard IPO to enter public markets.

The valuation could be a step down from the greater than $2 billion that sources advised Reuters in March the corporate hoped to realize.

The SPAC market has cooled off lately amid fears of frothy valuations and final month the SEC urged warrants issued by SPACs must be accounted for as liabilities as a substitute of fairness devices.

Wejo organizes knowledge from about 15 million linked automobiles for such purchasers as GM, Hyundai Motor and Daimler, and firms can use the information to develop apps and providers for fleets, good cities and particular person customers.

Wejo is being suggested by Citigroup and is led by Chief Government and founder Richard Barlow.

Based in 2014, Wejo has raised $157 million in line with PitchBook from such buyers as GM, which acquired a big stake in 2019, German auto provider Hella, DIP Capital and the British authorities.

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

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