Friday, 10 July, 2020


Amazon in talks to acquire autonomous-driving startup Zoox

Amazon in advanced talks to buy self-driving startup Zoox: Report WSJ: Amazon in talks to buy self-driving tech company Zoox
Conrad Doyle | 29 May, 2020, 10:58

More recently, Matousek "reported that self-driving vehicle startups are going through a tough patch during the pandemic, noting that Zoox and other companies have had to lay off staff". Where the company differs from others in the business is that it's not simply designing autonomous vehicle technology but "a symmetrical, bidirectional, zero-emissions vehicle from the ground up".

Amazon is automating its e-commerce activities, with robots in distribution centers, for example. Zoox is unlikely to sell for less than the $1 billion that it has already raised, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.

Inc.is in advanced talks to buy Zoox Inc.in a move that would expand the e-commerce giant's reach in autonomous-vehicle technology.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said by purchasing Zoox, Amazon could force delivery rivals UPS and FedEx to increase their own spending on autonomous delivery technology while enhancing its own internal capacity.

However, after a 2018 funding round the startup's value to $3.2 billion, Zoox chose to change plans after the company's board ousted CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, replacing him with Aicha Evans a year ago.

Both Amazon and Zoox declined a Reuters request for comment. The start-up raised about US$1-billion and wanted to build a fully driverless vehicle by this year.

"Zoox has been receiving interest in a strategic transaction from multiple parties and has been working with Qatalyst Partners to evaluate such interest", the start-up said.

But parcel deliverers remain a high cost for the company, and autonomous driving can help reduce these costs. CEO Jeff Bezos announced plans for drone delivery in 2013, though this has yet to materialise at scale.

More recently, in 2019, Amazon took part in a $530 million funding round for Aurora Innovation, another Silicon Valley-based self-driving startup. Amazon also backed Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric pickup and SUV maker. "But what if Amazon is the Amazon of transportation?"

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