TuSimple Holdings Inc., which is developing autonomous trucks now on the road in Texas and Arizona, said on Thursday it had raised $1.35 billion through an initial public offering, valuing the self-driving truck startup at nearly $8.5 billion.
The San Diego-based company and an existing investor sold 33.8 million shares at $40 each, it said in a statement Thursday. The shares had been marketed for $35 to $39 apiece.
At $40 a share, TuSimple would have a market value of $8.5 billion based on the outstanding stock listed in its filings. The company’s revenue has remained nominal while its losses have mounted as it has built and tested its technology and network. Last year, in had a net loss of $178 million on revenue of $1.8 million, according to its filings.
The shares fell 16 percent to $33.76 in early afternoon trading in New York.
Nine of the company’s officers and directors will have about 80 percent of the voting power in the company after the listing and will continue to control it, according to the filings.
Backed by Volkswagen's commercial trucking unit and United Parcel Service Inc., TuSimple is developing self-driving trucks with Navistar International Corp., whose production is slated to start in 2024.
Demo in Q4
TuSimple will demonstrate its self-driving truck technology using semi-trucks without human drivers in the fourth quarter of this year in Arizona as it continues to expand its U.S. test network, according to a source familiar with the tech startup's plans.
Self-driving freight services run on fixed routes between predefined points - mostly on major highways without intersections or pedestrians - requiring less mapping than shuttling customers between random points in robotaxis.
The source told Reuters that while all the sensors and software needed for self-driving will add around 30 percent to the sticker price of a truck jointly developed by TuSimple and Navistar, the vehicles should be profitable right away because of the lack of downtime needed for human drivers.
TuSimple declined to comment.
By 2023, TuSimple aims to have self-driving trucks running tests coast to coast, from the port of Long Beach, Calif., to Jacksonville, Fla., and should be able to complete the journey in 36 hours, the source said. That is less than half the time it takes for a human driver to travel the same distance.
Latest to cash in
The company is the latest player in the self-driving technology and manufacturing market to take the public market route after a string of lidar sensor manufacturers, including Luminar Technologies Inc. and Velodyne Lidar Inc., went public through mergers with blank-check firms last year.
The offering was led by Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The company’s shares are expected to begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol TSP.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.