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Sensor startup led by ex-Apple engineers raises $200 mln more ahead of public debut

Jan 4 (Reuters) - Aeva Inc on Monday said it had raised an additional $200 million ahead of a planned merger that will make it a publicly listed company, brining its total raised in the deal to more than $560 million.

Aeva, founded by two former Apple Inc engineers to create a lidar sensor that helps self-driving cars see the road, in November said it plans to become a public company through a merger with blank-check acquisition company InterPrivate Acquisition Corp.

On Monday, Aeva and InterPrivate said Sylebra Capital, which was already an InterPrivate shareholder, had committed to purchase an additional $200 million of InterPrivate common stock in connection with the merger, which is expected close by the end of first quarter.

Aeva has deals with major automakers such as Porsche AG, the majority owner of Volkswagen Group, around its sensors, which help cars sense the depth and speed of objects in the road ahead.

Soroush Salehian, Aeva’s chief executive, said the additional funding will help Aeva pursue emerging interest in the sensor from potential customers in the consumer electronics space for depth sensors that could go into phones and tablets as well as health sensors.

“This allows us to be heads down and focused on making sure we can not only deliver on our current customer commitments, but to also start address inbound additional customer interest faster,” he told Reuters in an interview. (Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by David Evans)

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