Hyundai Motor is considering increasing its stake in or outright acquisition, the South Korean-based no-cap company 42dot . autonomous mobile platformThe latest signal of their growing interest in the rapidly growing space.
A 42dot spokesperson told TechCrunch that the startup is in talks with Hyundai Motor, but cautioned that terms including share size and transaction valuation have yet to materialize. Hyundai Motor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hyundai now owns a 20.4% stake in the three-year-old startup, while 42dot’s co-founder and CEO, Chang-Hyeon Song, interestingly also leads the transport-as-a-service group (TaaS) at Hyundai Motor, held 36.19% stake in December 2021, according to Regulatory profile of 42dot. 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 accelerated efforts to bolster autonomous driving technology in line with Korean automaker’s grand plan to invest $79 billion (95.5 trillion WON) by 2030 into autonomous driving software technology and electric vehicle-related businesses. Hyundai Motor, said it aims to secure 7% of the global electric vehicle market by 2030, spend $9.2 billion (WON 12 trillion) for connectivity and autonomous driving software investment.
The news comes nearly nine months after 42dot raised $88.5 million in a Series A funding round at a valuation of around $425 million to accelerate TaaS services and urban mobility operations systems. (UMOS).
Korean local media The first Korean Economic Daily report 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 acquisition in June. The newspaper said the proposed deal could be completed this month.
Founded in 2019 by former Apple, Microsoft, and Naver alum Song, 42dot has developed Akit, a self-driving hardware and software solution, and TAP, an autonomous mobility and logistics platform that offers a number of services. ride-hailing services, fleet management, on-demand transportation, smart logistics and more.