Aeva, a lidar startup founded by two former Apple engineers, has acquired an additional $200 million in private funding from Hong Kong hedge fund Sylebra Capital ahead of its public debut.
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The Mountain View, California-based startup announced in fall 2020 that it was merging with special purpose acquisition company InterPrivate Acquisition Corp., with a post-deal market valuation of $2.1 billion. The new investment from Sylebra, which is a current holder of InterPrivate common stock, brings the total gross proceeds it will have once it begins trading to more than $560 million, according to the company.
Aeva had previously raised $120 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, including investments from Adage Capital and Porsche SE. Its combined company gross proceeds, a figure that includes $243 million held in trust by InterPrivate, was at $363 million before Sylebra stepped forward with its additional investment.
3. Growth plans:
Aeva co-founder and CEO Soroush Salehian called the investment a “major vote of confidence” in the company’s business model and growth plans. Aeva will use the additional $200 million to further invest into R&D and scale up its programs across key verticals in automotive, consumer electronics and industrial applications, Salehian said in an emailed comment to TechCrunch.
Lidar, light detection and ranging radar, measures distance using laser light to generate a highly accurate 3D map of the world around the car. Aeva’s founders Salehian and Mina Rezk developed what they call “4D lidar,” which can measure distance as well as instant velocity without losing range, all while preventing interference from the sun or other sensors.
5. New path:
Aeva is one of a handful of lidar companies to eschew the traditional IPO path and go public via a SPAC merger. Velodyne and Luminar have also merged with SPACs to to become publicly traded companies. Lidar startup Ouster announced in December that it has agreed to go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Colonnade Acquisition Corp.