(Adds quotes from CEO interview)
June 23 (Reuters) - Embark Trucks Inc said on Wednesday it will merge with a blank-check firm, in a deal that will give the private equity firm Tiger Global Management backed self-driving truck technology developer a market capitalization of $5.2 billion.
The deal with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II will get Embark about $614 million in cash proceeds, including a $200 million private investment from Mubadala Capital, CPP Investments, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global among others.
Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based Embark helps carriers enable self-driving trucks within their fleet through its software.
Embark, which calls itself the oldest self-driving truck firm in the United States, said the proceeds were expected to fund its business through 2024.
“We’ve already seen a huge amount of excitement and adoption in the trucking space... It’s one of the things that sort of drove us to look at public transaction,” Chief Executive Officer Alex Rodrigues told Reuters.
Earlier this year, self-driving trucking companies Plus and TuSimple entered U.S. public markets in a bid to tap the red-hot capital market to commercialize their technology and product.
Embark was co-founded by Rodrigues, who started building robots at age 11, and Brandon Moak, who Rodrigues first met and collaborated with while studying mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo.
They built Canada’s first self-driving vehicle - an autonomous golf cart named “Marvin”- out of Rodrigues’ garage.
Northern Genesis 2 is a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, the team behind which took electric vehicle firm Lion Electric Co public by merging it with a former SPAC.
Citi is advising Embark on the deal, while J.P. Morgan Securities is serving as financial and capital markets adviser to Northern Genesis 2.
Former Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao will join Embark’s board, the company said. (Reporting by Sohini Podder and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)