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Self-driving startup Aurora plans to go public with valuation of $11 billion

Driverless technology startup Aurora Innovation Inc. said it agreed to go public via a merger with Reinvent Technology Partners Y, a blank-check firm led by executives including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga Inc. founder Mark Pincus.

In a statement, Aurora said it expects to have $2.5 billion in cash at closing, raising nearly $2 billion from the transaction.

The deal represents an equity value of $11 billion for Aurora, and the combined company will be valued at $13 billion, according to the statement.

The transaction includes a $1 billion private investment in public equity from investors including Baillie Gifford and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., as well as strategic investments from Uber Technologies Inc., Paccar Inc. and Volvo Group.

Aurora is led by CEO Chris Urmson, and Hoffman is a board member. In March, the Silicon Valley-based startup, added Volvo Group to its list of partners to develop self-driving trucks. Paccar Inc. joined with Aurora in January for a similar development deal. Aurora has said its investors include Amazon.com, Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.

“Our goal at Aurora is to make the movement of goods and people more equitable, productive, dependable, and — crucially — much safer than it is today,” Urmson said in the statement. “By combining with Reinvent and with this incredible group of investors, we are even closer to deploying self-driving vehicles and delivering the benefits this technology offers the world.”

Aurora’s technology relies on innovations in lidar, which uses lasers to build a three-dimensional image of the surrounding landscape and help plot routes around obstacles in the road. It uses a technology that is designed to allow vehicles to “see” farther and faster and is critical at highway speeds.

Reinvent Technology Partners Y raised $978 million in a March initial public offering. Earlier Reinvent SPACs have separately agreed to merge with flying taxi startup Joby Aviation and insurance technology platform Hippo.

Automotive News contributed to this report.

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