US-based Argo AI, a self-driving technology startup backed by Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, is considering going public in 2021.
The company is looking forward to boosting its funding as it comes closer to commercializing its self-driving technology. Argo is yet to figure out the specifics of the IPO with its automotive partners about whether it will be a traditional IPO or merge with a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company).
Founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, Argo AI is a technology platform working with leading automobile companies to deliver a fully integrated self-driving system that can be manufactured at scale. Argo builds the software, hardware, maps and cloud-support infrastructure that power self-driving vehicles. It aims to achieve a safe and reliable deployment in ride-sharing and goods delivery services.
Argo had a market value of more than US$ 7 billion after receiving a US$ 2.6 billion investment from Volkswagen last July. Volkswagen is planning to launch its self-driving vehicles on the road later this decade. Earlier in 2017, Ford had invested US$ 1 billion in Argo and plans to launch its robo-taxis and driverless delivery pods in 2022. Argo is in the advanced stages of developing its technology. It has been conducted in six cities including Washington DC, Austin and Miami.
“We have a solid financial runway due to investments from our partners Ford and Volkswagen, but we have always said that we’re open to additional partnerships or investment opportunities to further accelerate our growth.” — Statement released by Argo.
The co-founder Bryan Salesky was also involved in the Google self-driving car project that became Waymo. Later in 2016, he founded Argo with Peter Rander, alumni of Uber Technologies Inc.’s autonomous auto operations.
“We’ve got a strong global player, strong in Europe with VW and Ford being strong in the U.S. A third player is absolutely possible,” said Salesky back in 2019 while announcing the VW deal.
Today Argo has 1,300 employees with operations in the U.S. and Germany.
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