‘A Major Vote of Confidence’
The new investment means that Aeva will have total gross proceeds of over $560 million once it debuts as a publicly-traded company. A few months ago, Aeva announced it was merging with InterPrivate Acquisition Corp., whose common stock is currently being held by Sylebra.
Aeva, the California-based startup started by two Apple veterans, previously secured $120 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, after securing investments from Adage Capital and Porsche SE. Total gross proceeds before the latest investment by Sylebra were standing at $363 million.
Sylebra has entered a 1-year lock-up agreement on the larger part of its investment and is expected to vote all available shares to support the transaction. The merger deal is set to close in Q1 2021, according to Aeva.
“We are buying at price points that are very attractive versus the long-term opportunity, and the firm is backed by strong and experienced management,” Dan Gibson, Sylebra’s Hong Kong-based chief investment officer, told Bloomberg.
Soroush Salehian, chief executive and co-founder of Aeva, viewed Sylebra’s investment as a “major vote of confidence” in the company’s business model and expansion plans. The lidar company plans to invest the fresh $200 million in R&D and expand its programs across key sectors in automotive, consumer electronics, and industrial applications, Salehian said.
Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging radar, technology utilizes laser light to create a highly accurate 3D map of the car surroundings and measures the distance between the vehicle and outside objects.
Founders of Aeva, Salehian and Mina Rezk claim their company has developed the so-called “4D lidar,” which is able to measure distance and instant velocity without losing any range, while ignoring disturbance from the sun and other factors. According to the company, its FMCW technology also spends less power, enabling it to fold in perception software.
Lidar company Aeva raised a fresh $200 million in private investment from the Hong Kong-based hedge fund Sylebra Capital as it prepares for its debut as a publicly-traded company.