Embark Trucks lays off workers, explores liquidation of self-driving truck assets

Embark Trucks, the autonomous trucking company that went public in 2021 via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, is cutting its workforce in an effort to reduce costs and preserve cash. And the pain may not be over.

The company said in a regulatory filing that about 230 employees were laid off Friday. A source familiar with the plan said the cuts were announced at a meeting with employees Friday morning. The layoffs are expected to occur in the first and second quarters.

The layoffs come more than a month after banking advisory firm Evercore met with various AV companies to explore selling Embark’s assets, according to one source.

A sale appears to still be on the table, according to a regulatory filing posted Friday.

Embark’s board approved Wednesday “a process to explore, review and evaluate a range of potential strategic alternatives available to the company,” including alternative uses of its assets to commercialize its technology, additional sources of financing, as well as potential dissolution or liquidation of its assets.

“The board’s decision comes following an extended evaluation by the company of alternative markets in which to commercialize its technology as well as an exploration, performed with the assistance of a financial advisor, of a potential sale of the company,” the filing said.

Embark Trucks was founded in 2016 by CEO Alex Rodrigues and CTO Brandon Moak and quickly got the attention of investors. Rodrigues and Moak met while working on self-driving technology at the University of Waterloo, where both completed mechatronics engineering degrees.

By 2018, the startup had raised about $47 million. But it was the SPAC boom that really delivered the capital — at least for a short time. In 2021, Embark Trucks agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II in a deal valued at $5.2 billion.

Today, Embark Trucks is running short on capital like other companies trying to develop and commercialize autonomous vehicle technology.

Story is developing …

Embark Trucks lays off workers, explores liquidation of self-driving truck assets by Kirsten Korosec originally published on TechCrunch

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Photo and Author: Kirsten Korosec

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