Connected-car-data startup company Wejo is poised to go public through a reverse merger with Virtuoso Acquisition Corp, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Wejo is backed by General Motors.
According to a recent report from Reuters, the deal values Wejo at $800 million, including debt. The acquisition through an SPAC enables Wejo to go public while forgoing the standard initial public offering (IPO) process.
Wejo was founded in 2014, and is led by former Executive Vice President of General Motors Global Manufacturing Tim Lee, as well as Wejo founder and Chief Executive Richard Barlow.
Wejo provides data organization services to a number of mainstream automakers, including Daimler, Hyundai, and General Motors. General Motors acquired a 35-percent stake in the company in 2019, investing $25 million. General Motors also gave an “in-kind” consideration to supply data from millions of GM vehicles, estimated to be worth more than $70 million. It’s estimated that Wejo has roughly 11 million connected vehicles under its wing.
The latest deal will raise $330 million in proceeds for Wejo, including $230 million from Virtuoso and $100 million in Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE). An additional $25 may be raised in the next month following talks with investors.
In addition to investments from General Motors, Wejo has also received investments from Palantir Technologies.
“The future is data and this is a company that’s sitting there right in the middle of this incredible wave of data that’s coming,” said Virtuoso CEO Jeffrey Warshaw. “All this opportunity to monetize it, it’s almost limitless.”
The merger is slated to close in the second half of 2021.
Wejo estimates that by 2030, 72 million new connected vehicles will be sold worldwide, with the connected vehicle data market worth $500 billion. This will create new opportunities for automakers to offer further services to customers and generate additional revenue streams. Connected vehicle data also promises greater efficiency for companies with regard to product development.