Hyundai Motor is considering increasing or acquiring its stake in South Korea-based lidar-free autonomous mobility platform 42dot, the latest sign of its growing interest in the fast-growing space.
A 42dot spokesperson told londonbusinessblog.com that the startup is in talks with Hyundai Motor, but warned that terms, including share size and deal valuation, had not yet materialized. Hyundai Motor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hyundai currently owns a 20.4% stake in the three-year-old startup, while 42dot’s co-founder and chief executive Chang-Hyeon Song, who interestingly also leads the transport-as-a-service (TaaS) team at Hyundai Motor. , held a 36.19% stake as of December 2021, according to 42dot’s regulatory filing. The rest is in the hands of venture capital firms and strategic investors, including LG Electronics, SK Telecom, Lotte Rental, CJ Logistics and LIG Nex1.
The ongoing deliberation highlights Hyundai Motor’s accelerated efforts to bolster its autonomous driving technology in line with Korean automaker’s grand plan to invest $79 billion (95.5 trillion WON) by 2030 in autonomous driving software technology and electric vehicle related businesses. Hyundai Motor, which has said it aims to secure 7% of the global electric vehicle market by 2030, earmarked $9.2 billion (12 trillion WON) for investments in connectivity and autonomous driving in software.
The news comes nearly nine months after 42dot raised $88.5 million in its Series A funding round at a valuation of approximately $425 million to accelerate its TaaS service and urban mobility operating system (UMOS).
South Korean local media Korean Economic Daily first reported the news, citing anonymous sources, that Hyundai is in talks to invest at least 400 billion WON (~$306.4 million) in 42dot. According to the newspaper, Hyundai approached 42dot in June about the acquisition. The proposed deal could close this month, the paper said.
Founded in 2019 by former Apple, Microsoft and Naver alum Song, 42dot has developed Akit, a self-driving software and hardware solution, and TAP, an autonomous mobility and logistics platform that offers a number of ride-hailing services. , fleet management, demand-driven transport, smart logistics and more.