Porsche-Backed Car Tech Firm WayRay Said to Consider Listing Via SPAC

This content was published on April 30, 2021 - 13:19

(Bloomberg) -- WayRay, a developer of holographic car displays that’s backed by Porsche AG and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is considering a listing through a blank-check firm, people familiar with the matter said.

The Swiss company is working with advisers to explore a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, said the people, asking not to be identified because discussions are private. WayRay is considering seeking a valuation of about $2 billion in any deal, they said.

WayRay has raised more than $100 million in funding since being founded in 2012. The company has previously said that it aims to become a unicorn -- achieving a valuation of $1 billion or more -- by the end of 2019. Its investors include luxury carmaker Porsche, which has teamed up with WayRay on automotive innovation, as well as Chinese e-commerce operator Alibaba, South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co., China Merchants Capital and a consortium of sovereign wealth funds.

Automotive technology companies from battery suppliers to electric-truck makers have been a particularly popular segment for SPACs, who are betting on discovering the next Tesla Inc.

More than 300 blank-check companies globally have completed initial public offerings this year to raise a combined $103.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the pace of new listings has since recently slowed due to a regulatory crackdown, the many SPACs already trading are still hunting for acquisition targets.

WayRay is developing holographic augmented reality software and hardware for automobiles. The goal is to apply the technology to help cars with navigation, a driver’s assistant and virtual dashboard. WayRay aims to start manufacturing of its products in the coming years.

Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for WayRay declined to comment.

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