American e-commerce giant, Amazon.com Inc. is in high-level discussions to acquire Zoox Inc. in a strategic move that would increase the e-commerce giant’s influence in autonomous-vehicle technology.
The companies are considering a deal that would estimate Zoox’s value at less than the $3.2 billion it gained in a funding round in 2018. A deal may be weeks away and the discussions could still fall apart, one of the people cautioned.
Founded in 2014, Zoox is a California based robotics company founded by Tim Kentley-Klay and Dr. Jesse Levinson to produce autonomous mobility. It has been striving to deliver the hardware and software required to create electric-powered, robot taxis that would be called upon by smartphone app starting this year.
A successful transaction could provide new life to a once-marquee startup that has seen its fortunes fade as it struggled to raise funds. Amazon on the other hand had created a team devoted to driverless-vehicle technology, driven in part by a push to transport more of its delivery services itself. It has made several investments in the area, including last year’s funding round participation worth $530 million for autonomous-technology firm Aurora Innovation Inc.