Bosch Picks Up Five.ai After The Self-Driving Startup Pivoted To B2B And Then Put Itself Up For Sale

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With the most recent development coming out of Europe, the world of autonomous driving is consolidating. Bosch announced that it will acquire Five.ai. A self-driving startup that began with grand plans, to build and manage its fleet of robotaxis. But eventually shifted its focus to technology development as a B2B play.

The firms did not disclose the financial specifics of the agreement. Five has been looking for a buyer, and Bosch said it beat out “other takeover contenders” to obtain the acquisition. Not only will it be acquiring Five’s intellectual property, but it will also be acquiring 140 personnel in the United Kingdom. The acquisition, according to Bosch, is still subject to regulatory approval, particularly from antitrust authorities. The closing process should take about two months.
Five raised around $78 million in funding. According to PitchBook, the last value was $216 million. A $41 million investment in March 2020 coincided with the company’s B2B pivot.

Five’s investors were a mix of strategic and financial backers. It included the insurance giant Direct Line, the U.K. government, and VCs like Notion and Lakestar. It also includes Sistema, the Russian investment giant. Sistema has been feeling the effects of the sanctions on its home country. Recently, Sistema said it might have to de-list from the LSE. This is because of a law that Russia looks prepared to pass. The law requires that Russian companies terminate their foreign depository programs.

Automated driving makes road traffic safer. Dr. Markus Heyn, says that it wants Five to give an extra boost to the software development. And it should offer customers European-made technology. Bosch is a global leader in driving assistance technologies. It has core technologies and vast data lakes that will be essential in bringing safe self-driving systems to market.


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