Aeva, the lidar company started by two former Apple engineers, has raised an additional $200 million in private investment from Hong Kong hedge fund Sylebra Capital ahead of its debut as a publicly traded company.
The Mountain View, California-based startup announced in fall 2020 that it was merging with special purpose acquisition company InterPrivate Acquisition Corp., with a post-deal market valuation of $2.1 billion. The new investment from Sylebra, which is a current holder of InterPrivate common stock, brings the total gross proceeds it will have once it begins trading to more than $560 million, according to the company.
Aeva had previously raised $120 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, including investments from Adage Capital and Porsche SE. Its combined company gross proceeds, a figure that includes $243 million held in trust by InterPrivate, was at $363 million before Sylebra stepped forward with its additional investment.
Importantly, Sylebra has also entered into a one-year lock-up agreement on the majority of its investment and will vote all eligible shares in favor of the transaction. Aeva said the merger is expected to close in the first quarter of this year.
Aeva co-founder and CEO Soroush Salehian called the investment a “major vote of confidence” in the company’s business model and growth plans. Aeva will use the additional $200 million to further invest into R&D and scale up its programs across key verticals in automotive, consumer electronics and industrial applications.
“We’ve seen an increase in customer interest for our unique 4D LiDAR technology across all of these areas in the past few months and the additional resources will allow us to address this increased demand faster,” he said.
Aeva is one of a handful of lidar companies to eschew the traditional IPO path and go public via a SPAC merger. Velodyne and Luminar have also merged with SPACs to to become publicly traded companies. Lidar startup Ouster announced in December that it has agreed to go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Colonnade Acquisition Corp