Self-driving startup, Five.ai, was acquired by Bosch.
Bosch recently announced that they’re acquiring Five.ai – an autonomous driving startup that began with mega ambitions to create and function its fleets of “Robo-taxi.” However, they eventually pivoted to focus on tech developments as a “B2B” play.
Even though the deal hasn’t been revealed, Bosch – the German multinational technology and engineering company – claims they have closed the deal with Five.ai, who have long sought potential buyers and beat out other takeover bidders.
Details about the acquisition
Bosch noted acquisition is pending authorization by regulators, particularly anti-trust authorities. They will pick up IP and more than 130 employees from Five.ai. This may take anywhere from one to two months.
Five had secured about $78M funds and was valued at around $216M in one of its final rounds. Its financiers were a blend of financial and strategic backers that included VCs like Lakestar and Notion and “Direct Line.”
Why Bosch acquired Five.ai
Bosch has long been seeking self-driving car tech. Like most others, its stated goals – it’s a supplier and OEM to the automobile industry – have been outdone by self-driving vehicles.
Five.ai’s CEO said in 2020:
“A year and a bit ago we thought we would probably build the entire thing and take it to market as a whole system. But we gradually realized just how deep and complex that would be. It was probably through 2019 that we realized that the right thing to do is to focus in on the key pieces.”
Like Five, which has been centered on B2B, Bosch has become an active market as well as next-generation hardware and software player. In addition, it’s investing in self-driving car companies.
“Scale matters in building automated driving technology. Bosch is a global leader in driving assistance technologies, with core technologies and vast data lakes that will be essential in bringing safe self-driving systems to market. We’re excited for Five to become part of Europe’s most powerful SAE Level 4 player and to be a part of Bosch’s future success,” added Stan Boland in a statement in today’s announcement.
The deal emerges amid various other “Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)” in the autonomous vehicle industry, including Magna buying “Optimus Ride,” GM acquiring “SoftBank’s stake in Cruise,” VW taking over “Huawei’s autonomous driving unit,” and Luminar purchasing “Freedom Photonics.”