Israeli co Autotalks nears $2b valuation SPAC merger

1 year, 3 months ago - 12 April 2021, globes
Israeli co Autotalks nears $2b valuation SPAC merger
The connected vehicles technology company is in advanced talks to list on Nasdaq, sources in Israel's auto-tech market have told "Globes."

Israeli connected vehicles technology (V2X) developer Autotalks is in advanced talks to list on Nasdaq through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, sources in Israel's auto-tech market have told "Globes." According to those sources, Autotalks, based at Kfar Netter near Netanya, will trade on Wall Street at a company valuation of $1.5-2 billion.

Autotalks, which was founded in 2008, develops V2X chips allowing smart-cars to connect and transfer vital data between them about the car, its location, speed, direction, and information about the road and infrastructures. There are two rival vehicle communications systems based on cellular technology and Wi-Fi and Autotalks is one of the few companies to develop chips cable of supporting both systems. Once automotive car regulation is completed, V2X will be an obligatory safety requirement for future cars. Some carmakers are already installing V2X without waiting for regulatory arrangements.

As far as is known, Autotalks already has two large strategic contracts with Volkswagen and Toyota to install their chips in future models. The deals are for an estimated hundreds of thousands of cars. The company is also working with the Chinese authorities to make V2X technology, based on 5G cellular networks, part of the standard specification for Chinese cars in the next three years.

Autotalks has raised $120 million to date and has 100 employees in Israel, the US, Korea, Japan, Germany, France, and Ukraine. The company is led by CEO Hagai Zyss and CTO and cofounder Onn Haran. Investors include Hyundai Motors investment arm, Samsung, Mitsui, Magma Venture Partners, Gemini Israel Ventures, and Delek Motors.

Israel's auto-tech sector has embraced the SPAC trend to list on Wall Street. Lidar laser sensor company Innoviz Technologies began trading on Nasdaq last week after completing a SPAC merger and radar chip developer Arbe Robotics, connected car data platform Otonomo, and electric vehicle platform REE have all announced agreeing SPAC mergers.

Autotalks declined to comment on this report.

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