Autonomous-truck developer Embark Technology is being acquired by Applied Intuition, a tooling and software provider for autonomous vehicle development.
Under the merger agreement announced May 24, Applied will acquire Embark in an all-cash transaction with an equity value of approximately $71 million.
Founded in 2016, Embark has built an autonomous software stack that uses machine learning methodologies for perception while relying on a safety-redundant computing system. The company also developed a custom-built hardware platform optimized for autonomy and has performed extensive real-world testing and system deployment, with over 1.5 million miles of autonomous operations conducted on highways.
But in March, news broke that Embark Technology was laying off about 70% of its employees, shutting down its Southern California and Houston, Texas, offices, and could shut down altogether.
Merger Means Retiring Embark Autonomous Test Trucks
Applied said it plans to integrate Embark's internal tools, data, and software assets to improve its offerings for customers in the trucking and automotive industries. Embark plans to retire its fleet of test vehicles as part of the transaction, but key employees are expected to remain to support Applied and expand the company's suite of product offerings.
"We are excited to acquire Embark," said Qasar Younis, co-founder and CEO of Applied Intuition. "This acquisition should enable us to advance our products and solve more specific, complex challenges for our customers. We respect the work Embark has accomplished in the autonomous vehicle industry and look forward to leveraging their expertise to better serve our global customer base."
"Today marks an exciting, new chapter for Embark," said Alex Rodrigues, co-founder and CEO of Embark. "I cannot wait to see where Applied takes the technology we have built."
Embark Merger Details
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, Embark shareholders will receive $2.88 per share in cash.
In a March 3 email to Embark employees that the company published on Medium, Rodrigues explained, “The last nine months have been tough for the autonomous trucking industry, and for Embark — the capital markets have turned their backs on pre-revenue companies, just as slipping manufacturer timelines have delayed the prospect of scaled commercial deployment.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023 and is subject to approval by Embark shareholders and other customary closing conditions. Upon completion of the transaction, Embark shares will cease trading on NASDAQ, and Embark will become a privately held company.