Self-Driving Truck Company Promising to ‘Remove Drivers’ Rakes in $1.1 BILLION in IPO
San Diego, CA – The first self-driving truck company to go public raked in more than $1 billion last week.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking technology company intent on disrupting the trucking industry and displacing truck drivers, raised nearly $1.1 billion during its initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday, April 15.
Trading under the ticker symbol “TSP” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, TuSimple sold nearly 33.8 million shares of its Class A common stock at pricing ranging as high as $41.50/share to as low as $33/share.
Cheng Lu, CEO and president of the Silicon Valley startup, rang the opening trading bell.
“This is a huge milestone,” he told CNBC. “We are the first only autonomous driving company to be publicly traded. It’s really a validation of our shareholders confidence in us and our technology.”
At the heart of the company’s pitch to investors is the promise to alleviate the so-called “driver shortage” and deliver “significant cost savings” by replacing truck drivers, particularly those who are involved in transporting “middle mile truck freight.”
“We believe that autonomy addresses the fundamental supply and demand imbalance facing the truck freight industry today,” TuSimple said last month in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “We believe that removing the driver from middle mile truck freight will provide shippers, carriers, and railroads with significant cost savings and allow them to reallocate scarce driver resources to first and last mile routes.”
A TuSimple spokesperson recently confirmed to Transportation Nation Network the company intends to conduct a pilot program later this year to demonstrate its driverless technology in which the “safety driver” will be removed from the truck.
Before going public, TuSimple attracted investments from some of the largest players in the transportation industry.
Goodyear is also an investor and Navistar, which has partnered with TuSimple to bring self-driving trucks to market by 2024, owned 5% of the company before Thursday’s trading.
Co-founders Xiaodi Hou and Mo Chen still own controlling interest with 62.5% of the voting stock through Class B shares.
Lu indicated to CNBC the company intended to use the proceeds from the IPO to hire more employees and invest in further development of its technology.
TuSimple’s valuation is now $8.5 billion.