Amazon Grows Stake in Self-Driving Vehicle Companies
Amazon.com Inc.’s holdings of high-tech transportation companies continues to grow.
Last November, the tech giant purchased a 5.2% stake in self-driving vehicle technology company Aurora Innovation Inc. when the Pittsburgh-based firm went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Aurora, which has a current market cap of about $6.4 billion, announced the acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving unit, Advanced Technologies Group, in December 2020. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Aurora is developing self-driving systems for fleet trucks, ride-hailing services and passenger vehicles.
Based on the Feb. 10 closing price of Aurora, the 35,139,761 shares owned by Amazon are worth approximately $201.4 million.
Amazon also owns an 18.1% stake in electric-vehicle manufacturer Rivian Automotive Inc. The San Jose, Calif.-based company produces electric pickups, SUVs and delivery vans. Amazon plans to have 10,000 customized versions of the vans on the road this year and a fleet of 100,000 vans in service by 2030. The effort is part of its goal of being net-zero carbon by 2040 and powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.
“We hope our custom electric vehicle helps create a sense of urgency in the industry to think big about embracing sustainable technology and solutions — whether you’re a package delivery company, a logistics company, an ice cream manufacturer, or almost anyone else with vehicles on the road,” said Ross Rachey, director of Amazon’s global fleet and products.
Amazon’s transportation-sector investments are not limited to the high-tech sphere, as seen by its 20% stake in Air Transport Services Group Inc., a more traditional transportation company focusing on aircraft leasing and air-cargo. The Boeing 767 aircraft Amazon leases from the company form a significant part of its Amazon Air distribution system, which it launched in 2016.
Amazon also owns a 12% stake in London-based online food-delivery platform Deliveroo plc, as well as stakes in cloud-based customer-engagement provider Tilio Inc., Shoppers Stop Ltd., which operates department stores in India, and Australian home-security company Scout Security Ltd. Altogether, Amazon has reported stakes in 16 public companies in a variety of sectors around the world.