Tech Giant Amazon reportedly spent $1bn+ to buy self-driving startup Zoox

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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American e-commerce giant, Inc. has closed a deal to acquire self-driving startup Zoox for over $1 billion. Several media sources have cited The Information that deal could be announced as soon as Friday.

GCC Business News had reported late May that Amazon was finalizing the deal with Zoox for a possible acquisition. The deal with the startup will provide the e-commerce titan access to a pool of over 1,000 staff and additional talent in the self-driving space.

Founded in 2014, Zoox is a California based robotics company founded by Tim Kentley-Klay and Dr. Jesse Levinson to produce autonomous mobility. It has been striving to deliver the hardware and software required to create electric-powered, robot taxis that would be called upon by smartphone app starting this year.

The startup has raised $955 million over four funding rounds to date with Alium Capital, Blackbird Ventures, and Grok Ventures being its previous backers.

It remains unknown how Amazon would use the startup’s technologies. Whether it will be used for delivery service or the firm will now shift its focus to the wider applications of self-driving solutions such as intelligent vehicles and passenger transport remains to be seen.

Amazon introduced a new $2 billion fund to invest in innovative technologies for combating climate change earlier this week. Amazon’s Climate Pledge will invest in companies developing both products and services aimed at reducing carbon footprints across industries including travel, logistics, energy, and manufacturing, among others.

According to the Zoox, the firm is currently designing a zero-emissions vehicle capable of autonomous mobility, using “the latest in automotive, robotics, and renewable energy,”, and this scheme could be one of the first investments made via Amazon’s new renewables and carbon emissions program.