E-commerce giant Amazon in talks to buy autonomous vehicle start-up Zoox
- Dow Jones reported that Amazon is in advanced talks to buy Zoox for less than the US$3.2 billion valuation from 2018
- Zoox is unlikely to sell for less than the US$1 billion that it has already raised, according to people familiar with the matter
Other companies in the automotive and chip industries have also held talks with Zoox about a potential investment, the people said. At least one other business besides Amazon has offered to buy the company, they added.
Zoox is unlikely to sell for less than the US$1 billion that it has already raised, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.
“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. It declined to comment on Amazon’s interest. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment.
Zoox had outsize ambition and financial backing. The start-up wanted to build a fully driverless car by this year. However, after a 2018 funding round that valued Zoox at US$3.2 billion, the start-up’s board voted to oust chief executive officer Tim Kentley-Klay.
The executive criticised the move, saying the directors were “optimising for a little money in hand at the expense of profound progress.”
Dow Jones reported that Amazon is in advanced talks to buy Zoox for less than the US$3.2 billion valuation from 2018.
Amazon is willing to spend heavily to automate its e-commerce business. The online retail giant bought warehouse robot-maker Kiva Systems in 2012 for US$775 million and now has tens of thousands of robots in warehouses around the world.
Buying Zoox could help Amazon “manage rising shipping costs that we project will exceed US$60 billion by 2025,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Jitendra Waral and April Kim wrote in a research note on Tuesday.