Hyundai Motor is considering increasing its stake in South Korea-based lidar-free autonomous mobility platform 42dot or acquiring it outright.
A 42dot spokesperson told TechCrunch that the startup is in talks with Hyundai Motor, but cautioned that terms, including the amount of stock and the deal price, have not yet been finalized. Hyundai Motor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hyundai currently owns a 20.4% stake in the three-year-old startup, with 42dot founder and CEO Chang Hyeon Song, who impressively heads Hyundai Motor’s transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) group. 36.19% stake as of December 2021, according to 42dot’s regulatory filing. The rest is owned by venture capital firms and strategic investors, including LG Electronics, SK Telecom, Lotte Rental, CJ Logistics and LIG Nex1.
The ongoing consultation is in line with the Korean automaker’s ambitious plan to strengthen Hyundai Motor’s autonomous driving technology by 2030. It also marks a US$79 billion (95.5 trillion won) investment into independent software technology and electric vehicle businesses. In the year Hyundai Motor, which aims to secure 7% of the global electric vehicle market by 2030, has earmarked $9.2 billion (12 trillion WON) for connectivity and autonomous software investment.
The news comes nine months after 42dot raised $88.5 million in a Series A financing round valued at $425 million to accelerate its TaS service and Urban Mobility Operation System (UMOS).
South Korean local media Korea Economic Daily first reported the news, citing anonymous sources, saying Hyundai is in talks to invest at least 400 billion WON (~$306.4 million) in 42dot. According to the newspaper, Hyundai approached 42dot for the purchase in June. The proposed deal could be finalized this month, the newspaper said.
In the year Founded in 2019 by former Apple, Microsoft and Naver alum Song, 42dot Akit, a self-driving software and hardware solution, and TAP, an autonomous mobility and logistics platform in driving, fleet management, demand-responsive transportation, smart logistics, and more.