E-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly agreed to pay more than $1.2 billion to buy self-driving startup Zoox, in a move that sheds light on the company’s huge ambitions regarding autonomous vehicle technology.
Citing unnamed sources, a report from The Information claims the deal is likely to be made public on Friday, June 26. The report did not mention the exact purchase price and added Amazon is unlikely to disclose it when the transaction goes official.
However, Financial Times claims Amazon will pay more than $1.2 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter. One of the people said Amazon would work with Zoox to create a ride-hailing fleet, which would put the e-commerce giant against the Google-backed Waymo.
Mind you, some analysts expect Amazon to focus on integrating autonomous technology into its delivery fleet. The deal follows purchases of stakes in electric truck maker Rivian and self-driving startup Aurora.
The transaction means a majority of Zoox investors will get their money back, with some of them making a positive return. Among the main investors are Lux Capital, DFJ, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Atlassian co-founder Michael Cannon-Brooks. Advanced talks between Amazon and Zoox were first reported in May but the companies did not make any comments.
Zoox was founded in 2014 and valued at $3.2 billion in July 2018. The company had planned to launch a pilot program for its ride-sharing service this year, but the coronavirus pandemic halted vehicle testing. The health crisis hit the company pretty hard and Zoox had to layoff 100 employees in April.