Auto knowledge startup Wejo explores SPAC merger with Virtuoso

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

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

The perimeters additionally haven’t closed a deal to lift funding from buyers to help the deal, the sources stated. This sort of funding, which is known as Non-public Funding in Public Fairness (PIPE), is often essential to finish an acquisition by a special-purpose acquisition firm, or SPAC.

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

SPACs are shell firms that increase funds to accumulate a personal firm with the aim of taking it public, permitting such targets to sidestep a standard IPO to enter public markets.

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

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

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

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

Based in 2014, Wejo has raised $157 million in response to PitchBook from such buyers as GM, which acquired a major 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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