Amazon, the renowned e-commerce giant and one of the leading revenue generating enterprises in the world, is currently engaged in advanced negotiations to acquire California-based autonomous vehicle startup, Zoox, according to reliable sources. If successful, the proposed deal would boost the retail giant’s efforts in the field of automation.
Meanwhile, other firms, that are active in the chip and automotive sectors, have held discussions with the California based startup regarding a potential investment as well. According to reliable sources, at least one other enterprise other than Amazon has offered to purchase the entire firm. However, Zoox has indicated that it is unlikely to settle for a deal that is less than $1 billion that the company has raised already.
The autonomous vehicle startup stated that the company has been receiving interest under a strategic transaction from several parties recently. To that end, the firm is working closely with Qatalyst Partners to assess such interests. In reference to Amazon’s interest, the company declined to elaborate further. Additionally, Amazon has also declined to make an official statement over the acquisition.
Zoox possessed significant ambitions and financial support. The vehicle startup had aimed to develop a completely driverless car by the end of 2020. However, following a 2018 investment round that placed Zoox’s valuation at over $3.2 billion, the company’s board voted to remove Chief Executive Officer, Tim Kentley-Klay from the said executive position. Kentley-Klay criticized this move, alleging that the board of directors was optimizing for some money in its hand at the cost of profound progress.
According to a Dow Jones report, Amazon was negotiating to purchase Zoox for less than its valuation of $3.2 billion from 2018.
Amazon has shown willingness to make significant investments to completely automate the e-commerse aspect of its business. The e-commerce giant acquired Kiva Systems, a renowned warehouse robot manufacturing company, for $775 million in 2012. Amazon currently equips tens of thousands of robots in its warehouses across the globe.