Self-driving truck tech firm Embark to go public via $5.2 billion SPAC deal

Embark Trucks Inc said on Wednesday it will merge with a blank-check firm, in a deal that will give the private equity firm Tiger Global Management backed self-driving truck technology developer a market capitalization of $5.2 billion.

The deal with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II will get Embark about $614 million in cash proceeds, including a $200 million private investment from Mubadala Capital, CPP Investments, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global among others.

Embark, which calls itself the oldest self-driving truck firm in the United States, said the proceeds were expected to fund its business through 2024.

Earlier this year, self-driving trucking companies Plus and TuSimple entered U.S. public markets in a bid to tap the red-hot capital market to commercialize their technology and product.

Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based Embark helps carriers enable self-driving trucks within their fleet through its software and has partnerships with carriers such as Werner Enterprises and Bison Transport and shippers AB InBev and HP Inc.

Embark was co-founded by Alex Rodrigues, who started building robots at age 11, and Brandon Moak, who Rodrigues first met and collaborated with while studying mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo.

While at university, the duo worked together to build Canada’s first self-driving vehicle – an autonomous golf cart named “Marvin”- out of Rodrigues’ garage.

Northern Genesis 2 is a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, the team behind which took electric vehicle firm Lion Electric Co public by merging it with a former SPAC.

Citi is advising Embark on the deal, while J.P. Morgan Securities is serving as financial adviser and capital markets adviser to Northern Genesis 2.