Amazon buys self-driving car start-up Zoox for over $1.2bn

27 Jun 2020 11:33 AM
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Amazon has decided to pay a lot more than $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) to get Zoox, an early on developer of self-driving autos, the business said on Friday.

The tech giant said on Friday that its acquisition of Zoox, a California company "working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles from the ground up" will help "take their vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality".

"Zoox is attempting to imagine, invent, and style a world-class autonomous ride-hailing knowledge," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s chief executive, Worldwide Consumer, in a statement on the business's web-site. "Like Amazon, Zoox can be passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we're excited to help the skilled Zoox team to get their vision to simple fact in the years in advance."

Amazon said Aicha Evans, Zoox leader, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and chief technology officer, will continue to business lead the Zoox team "as they innovate and get towards their mission".

Amazon will reportedly use Zoox to create a ride-hailing fleet to contend with Waymo, the self-driving industry head backed by Alphabet. Even so, analysts expect Amazon may possibly also use automated autos to provide goods to customers.

Advanced talks between Amazon and Zoox were 1st reported last month.

Founded in 2014, Zoox has raised $1bn and was valued in $3.2bn after a good 2018 funding round.

Investors found in the California-based start-up include Breyer Capital, the Canada Pension Strategy Expenditure Board, Lux Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.

The company had planned to start a pilot programme because of its ride-sharing service this year, but vehicle testing was halted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Zoox made about 100 employees redundant found in April while rival Cruise, a good division of Standard Motors, shed 150 staff.

Even prior to the pandemic, the sector faced challenges. Since Waymo, which can be valued at a lot more than $30bn, was unveiled in Arizona in past due 2018, it hasn't expanded elsewhere.

Amazon offers stepped up its expense in the car sector, participating in a $530 million financing round early last year in self-traveling car start-up Aurora. It also bought a stake in electric power lorry maker Rivian over countless funding rounds last year.

The prospect of Amazon to build up a “better long-term delivery network” with Zoox technology could save the company $20bn a year, Morgan Stanley analysts said previous month.

The Zoox deal would be comparable to Amazon’s 2009 $1.2bn acquisition of retailer Zappos, its second-biggest deal following its $13.7bn order of Whole Foods on 2017.

"This acquisition solidifies Zoox's effect on the autonomous driving industry," stated Aicha Evans, leader of Zoox. "We've an even greater chance to realise a fully autonomous future."