A spokesperson of 42dot stated that the autonomous mobility platform is in talks with Hyundai Motor. The terms like stake size and deal valuation were not materialized, but it is known that Hyundai is considering a higher stake. Currently, the automaker owns a 20.4% stake in the three-year-old startup.
As of December 2021, the co-founder and chief executive Chang-Hyeon Song held a 36.19% stake in the company. Hyeon Song currently leads the transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) team at Hyundai. The rest is owned by venture capital firms and strategic investors, including LG Electronics, SK Telecom, Lotte Rental, CJ Logistics, and LIG Nex1.
The ongoing deliberation signals Hyundai Motor’s accelerating efforts to strengthen its autonomous driving technology which is in line with the Korean automaker’s grand plan to invest $79 billion (95.5 trillion WON) through 2030 into autonomous driving software technology and electric vehicle-related businesses. Hyundai Motor, which has said it aims to secure 7% of the global electric vehicle market by 2030, earmarked $9.2 billion (12 trillion WON) for connectivity and autonomous driving software investment. The news comes nearly nine months after 42dot raised $88.5 million in its Series A financing round at a valuation of about $425 million to accelerate its TaaS service and urban mobility operation system (UMOS).
South Korean local media Korean Economic Daily first reported the news, citing anonymous sources, that Hyundai is in talks to invest at least 400 billion WON (~$306.4 million) in 42dot. According to the newspaper, Hyundai approached 42dot for the acquisition in June. The proposed deal could be completed this month, the paper said.
Founded in 2019 by former Apple, Microsoft, and Naver alum Song, 42dot has developed AKit, a self-driving software, and hardware solution, and TAP, an autonomous mobility and logistics platform that offers a number of services across ride-hailing, fleet management, demand-responsive transport, smart logistics and more.
Together, they create a centralized, fully autonomous, and self-managed mobility infrastructure. Through the development of UMOS, 42dot aims to improve the efficiency, safety, and convenience of the movement of people and goods. 42Dot says it will expand the pilot operation to test various autonomous driving technologies and mobility platforms on real roads. It is also planning to increase the number of autonomous vehicles for this purpose.
Their UMOS is a comprehensive platform with functionality that spans various layers of the TaaS stack. A user interface that provides access to connected mobility and lifestyle services is one layer. Smart algorithms for fleet dispatching and management are another. Finally, cutting-edge extra-definition map and routing technology and autonomous machines are two layers that are part of the TaaS stack.