- Amazon has acquired self-driving-taxi firm Zoox for more than $US1 billion, sources told The Information and The Financial Times.
- The Wall Street Journal reported in May that Amazon and Zoox were holding talks.
- Zoox laid off 120 staff in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Amazon has bought self-driving taxi firm Zoox.
The Information’s report was published Thursday, and on Friday Amazon confirmed the acquisition, although it didn’t say for how much.
“Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience. Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead,” Amazon’s chief of its consumer division Jeff Wilke said in a statement.
“This acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry. We have made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility, and our exceptionally talented team working every day to realise that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realise a fully autonomous future,” said Zoox CEO Aicha Evans.
According to Amazon’s press release Zoox’s C-suite executives will remain in place, and it will continue to operate as a “standalone business.”
The Wall Street Journal reported in late May that the e-commerce giant was in talks to buy Zoox, a California-based self-driving-car startup founded in 2014. In 2018, Bloomberg Business reported that Zoox was closing on a $US500 million fundraise that would have valued the startup at $US3.2 billion. Before the raise, Zoox was valued at $US2.7 billion, the company told TechCrunch.
Like many self-driving-car companies, Zoox has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus forced the company to shut down a planned pilot for its ride-sharing service, and in April the company laid off 120 people.
Morgan Stanley analysts said in May that driverless delivery would save Amazon more than $US20 billion each year.