Israeli auto-tech company Otonomo has announced that it is merging with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Software Acquisition Group Inc. II (Nasdaq: SAII) and will trade on Nasdaq under the OTMO ticker. The deal is being conducted at a $1.4 billion valuation for Otonomo and will be completed in the second quarter of 2021 and will include a net injection of $280 million into the Israeli company.
The gross amount being raised by Otonomo is $345 million, with half of the money coming from Software Acquisition Group and the other half from a share offering led by institutional investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, BNP Paribas Asset Management Energy Transition Fund and Senvest Management, and strategic investors Dell Technologies Capital and Hearst Ventures. Otonomo's employees will also sell shares worth $30 million and when the deal is completed they will hold a 72% stake in the company.
Herzliya-based Otonomo has developed a data platform linked to 22 million connected cars through four billion data points. The data is used for emergency services, mapping, parking and predictive maintenance, and partners include BMW AG, Daimler AG, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Mercedes-Benz.
The company was founded in 2015 by CEO Ben Volkow and has raised $82 million to date including a $46 million Series C financing round last April from SK Holdings, Avis Budget Group, Alliance Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and StageOne Ventures. The valuation in April was $465 million, meaning that Otonomo has tripled its valuation in the past 10 months.
Volkow said, "This is an industry defining moment. Otonomo’s vehicle data platform and marketplace are primed to unleash the full potential of connected vehicle data. We have succeeded in bringing the widest diversity of data providers to a marketplace, developing a proprietary and highly scalable technology platform, and building a global and diverse network of data providers and consumers. Recent investments and our partnership with Software Acquisition Group II signify confidence in our strategy, the forward drive of our business and the significant growth opportunity that awaits. We look forward to Otonomo’s continued and increasing impact on the driving experience, unlocking new opportunities for our data consumers across multiple markets and the entire transportation ecosystem."
Software Acquisition Group CEO Jonathan Huberman added, "We established Software Acquisition Group Inc. II to invest in a world class software company that is positioned to be the leading player in a market that has enormous potential. We reviewed multiple potential partners and Otonomo stood out as the clear choice. Otonomo management not only identified the significant opportunity that exists in the automotive data space, but they have also achieved early market leadership and are positioned for impressive growth."
In December, Israeli auto lidar technology company Innoviz announced a merger with SPAC Collective Growth Corp. (Nasdaq: CGRO) at a company valuation of $1.4 billion, and last week Israeli media content discovery platform company Taboola said it had agreed to merge with Israeli SPAC ION Acquisition Corp.1 Ltd. (NYSE: IACA), which raised $260 million on Wall Street in October 2020.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 1, 2021
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