Hyundai Motor plans to increase its stake in, or fully acquire, South Korea-based lidarless autonomous mobility platform 42dot, the latest signal of its growing interest in the fast-growing space.
A 42dot spokesperson told TechCrunch that the startup was in talks with Hyundai Motor, but warned that terms such as the size of the stake and the valuation of the deal had yet to materialize. Hyundai Motor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hyundai currently owns a 20.4% stake in the three-year-old startup, while 42dot co-founder and CEO Chang-Hyeon Song, who also leads the transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) team at Hyundai Motor, held a 36.19% stake in December 2021, according to 42dot’s regulatory filing. The rest is owned by venture capitalists and strategic investors, including LG Electronics, SK Telecom, Lotte Rental, CJ Logistics and LIG Nex1.
The ongoing deliberation signals Hyundai Motor’s accelerated efforts to bolster its self-driving technology which is in line with the Korean automaker’s grand plan to invest $79 billion (95.5 trillion WON) through 2030 in the technology. autonomous driving software and activities related to electric vehicles. Hyundai Motor, which has said it aims to secure 7% of the global electric vehicle market by 2030, has earmarked $9.2 billion (WON12 trillion) for investment in connectivity and control software. autonomous driving.
The news comes nearly nine months after 42dot raised $88.5m in its Series A funding round at a valuation of around $425m to accelerate its TaaS service and mobility operating system. urban (UMOS).
South Korean local media Korean Economic Daily first reported the news, citing unnamed sources, that Hyundai is in talks to invest at least 400 billion WON (~$306.4 million) in 42dot. According to the newspaper, Hyundai approached 42 points for the acquisition in June. The proposed deal could be completed this month, according to the newspaper.
Founded in 2019 by former Apple, Microsoft, and Naver alum Song, 42dot has developed Akit, a self-driving software and hardware solution, and TAP, an autonomous mobility and logistics platform that offers a number of transportation services, fleet management, on-demand transportation, smart logistics and more.