June 23, 2021
Embark Trucks, which is developing autonomous software technology for the trucking industry, has announced it has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), to become a publicly listed company. The transaction reflects an equity value of $5.16 billion and an enterprise value of $4.55 billion. Upon closing, the combined company is expected to receive $614 million of gross cash proceeds, with approximately $414 million held in the trust account of Northern Genesis 2.
The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2016 by CEO Alex Rodrigues and CTO Brandon Moak to develop software for self-driving trucks. Over the last five years, Embark said it has operated America’s longest-running road-testing program for self-driving trucks to refine its software – purpose-built to navigate Class 8 trucks on long-distance freight trips. The company partners with leading carriers, who pay a per-mile subscription cost for the software to deploy and enable self-driving trucks within their fleets.
Through its partner development program, Embark is currently working with shippers and carriers such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, HP Inc., Werner Enterprises, Mesilla Valley Transportation, and Bison Transport, to help them prepare their fleets to integrate self-driving technology and scale. The company said it has logged more than 1 million real-world miles driven without a DOT-reportable incident.
“We have been solely focused on solving the problem of self-driving software for trucking,” said Rodrigues. “This singular and disciplined focus on the trucking market in the United States has allowed Embark to achieve many industry-first technology milestones – including the first self-driving truck to drive coast-to-coast – and positions Embark to be a leader in autonomous trucking software. The recent accomplishment of key technical milestones – including handling highway work zones on the fly – and the announcement of our Partner Development Program, mark the start of Embark’s transition from research to commercialization. After many years of R&D on the world’s most mature self-driving truck software stack, we plan to enable carrier operation of self-driving trucks in the U.S. sunbelt beginning in 2024. Following the transaction with Northern Genesis we expect to have a war chest that fully funds this commercialization plan, and then some.”
Embark also announced that former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao has been appointed to its board of directors. Prior to serving as Secretary of Transportation, Chao served for eight years as the U.S. Secretary of Labor and as president and CEO of United Way of America.