Chris Urmson, the chief executive of Aurora Innovation Inc (AUR.O), recently outlined several options for the self-driving technology company to combat difficult market conditions, including a potential sale to Apple Inc (AAPL.O) or Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), according to a Friday report by Bloomberg News.
Many electric vehicles and self-driving startup companies that during the market boom had raised money readily through IPOs and mergers with blank-check enterprises are now rushing to produce vehicles and burning through cash quickly due to a gloomy economy and supply-chain bottlenecks. Apple announced in 2020 that it was advancing its self-driving car technology and aiming to build a passenger automobile with its own ground-breaking battery technology by 2024.
Aurora Innovation Has Potential Buyers
The $30 billion self-driving car company Cruise, which is based in San Francisco and includes General Motors Co (GM.N) as the main shareholder, has attracted Microsoft’s investment.
According to the article, which was based on an internal document, Urmson, who co-founded Aurora after overseeing Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google’s self-driving car project, reportedly suggested the idea of cost-cutting measures, going private, and spinning off or selling assets. Aurora Innovation’s shares ended the week 15% higher but have lost over 80% of their value this year, a sign of its difficulties since coming public with a blank-check firm in late 2017. Its market capitalization is roughly $2.4 billion. Due to supply issues, Aurora announced this month that it will push back the arrival of its scalable autonomous freight trucks until the first half of 2024.
Other possibilities Urmson mentioned in the memo were buying industry companies with $150 million to $300 million in cash as well as freezing hiring and terminating personnel, according to the Bloomberg story.