A recent report indicates that Wejo, a connected-car-data startup company based in the United Kingdom and backed by General Motors, is in talks with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to go public through a reverse merger.
According to Reuters, which cites two people familiar with the matter, Wejo is approaching a deal with a shell corporation that would value the automotive data startup at more than $2 billion. The SPAC would acquire Wejo with the intention of taking the company public, allowing it to forego the standard initial public offering (IPO) process. It’s reported that Wejo is being advised by Citigroup.
Wejo declined to comment on the report.
Wejo was formed in 2014, and is currently led by Chairman Tim Lee, former Executive Vice President of General Motors Global Manufacturing, and Richard Barlow, Wejo’s founder and Chief Executive. Wejo provides data organization services to several major automakers, including General Motors, Hyundai, and Daimler, with an estimated 15 million connected vehicles across multiple makes currently under its wing. The company’s data organization services are delivered via ADEPT, the startup’s technology platform.
Back in 2019, it was reported that General Motors invested $25 million into Wejo, giving the automaker a 35-percent stake in the data startup. In addition to providing an infusion of cash, General Motors also gave an “in-kind” consideration to supply data from millions of GM vehicles, estimated to be worth over $70 million.
As more and more connected vehicles hit the road, vehicle data services will continue to gain traction. Wejo estimates that in less than a decade, roughly 72 million new connected vehicles will be sold around the world, providing automakers with potential new revenue streams and new service opportunities for their customers.
Citing figures from PitchBook, Reuters reports that Wejo has raised $157 million thus far, including major investments from General Motors, as well as the German auto supplier Hella, Dip Capital, and the British government.