for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Israeli data automotive firm Otonomo to go public in $1.4 bln SPAC deal

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Israeli automotive data firm Otonomo said on Monday it would merge with a blank-check company to go public at a valuation of $1.4 billion.

The deal with Software Acquisition Group Inc II is expected to fetch Otonomo $307 million in cash, including a $172.5 million private investment from investors such as Fidelity Management & Research Co and BNP Paribas Asset Management Energy.

The combined company would be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “OTMO”.

The startup sources data from over 20 million vehicles, according to its website. Companies can use the data to develop apps and services for fleets, smart cities and individual consumers. Otonomo’s partners include Daimler AG, Mitsubishi Motor Co, BMW and Avis Budget Group.

Otonomo raised $46 million in a funding round in April last year. The funding included investments from Avis Budget Group, South Korean conglomerate SK Holdings, Alliance Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Otonomo was founded in 2015 by Ben Volkow, who serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

Blank-check companies are shell companies that use proceeds from an initial public offering to take private firms public. They raised more than $82 billion in IPOs in 2020, more than four times the amount raised in 2019, according to data from Dealogic.

Ad firm Taboola and electric vehicle maker Faraday Future are some of the companies which have joined the SPAC frenzy this year.

Software Acquisition went public in a $150 million IPO in September last year.

Citigroup acted as the financial adviser to Otonomo.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up