Innoviz Technologies, a technology leader of high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Collective Growth Corporation (NASDAQ: CGRO) in a transaction sponsored by Antara Capital LP and Perception Capital Partners LLC. The transaction is supported by a $200 million fully committed common stock PIPE led by Antara Capital and includes strategic investments from Magna International, Innoviz’s Tier-1 partner. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined Company will retain the Innoviz Technologies, Ltd. name and is expected to be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “INVZ”.
Founded in 2016, Innoviz, alongside its mobility tech partner Magna International, was the first to bring a high-end solid-state LiDAR to market and meet the stringent requirements of automotive OEMs, robotaxi companies and Tier 1 suppliers for sensor safety, reliability, durability, low-power consumption, range, resolution, cost and size. The Company has continued to break new ground and enable consumer autonomous vehicle adoption by delivering LiDAR with unparalleled performance at a price point that allows for adoption and mass production. The Company was one of the first to innovate up the AV stack and develop perception software to accompany its LiDAR products, and many other industry participants followed Innoviz’s approach. Innoviz’s leading solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software are built and priced for mass produced consumer autonomous vehicles, a market that accounts for approximately two thirds of the total addressable market for LiDAR in the near term.
In addition to Magna International, Innoviz has established several partnerships with other world leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers, such as HARMAN, Aptiv and HiRain, which is active in China. These partners are some of the most influential companies in the automotive industry and have extensive experience with driver assistance and autonomous driving systems.
Innoviz’s Co-founder and CEO Omer Keilaf has spent over 21 years driving cutting edge technologies from inception to commercialization, and under his leadership the Company has grown rapidly, raising $251 million to date and expanding to over 280 employees globally. He also served in leadership roles in the Israeli Army’s elite unit 81 division, tasked with developing innovations and technology to great success.
Since its inception, Innoviz has launched several LiDAR products and its advanced perception software. Its solid-state LiDAR sensor is specifically designed for automakers requiring an automotive-grade, mass-producible solution. Its perception software is designed to be the ideal complement to the Company’s hardware offerings with advanced AI and machine learning-based classification, detection and tracking features. Innoviz has been named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Automobility LA Top Three Startup, two-time CES Innovation Award winner, The Atlas Award for Best Israeli LiDAR, Most Innovative Startup in Israel, and more. Innoviz is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, a region globally recognized for its engineering talent and record-breaking startup investments in the mobility and semiconductor sectors.
Innoviz has focused on the Consumer Vehicle market because it is the largest and most demanding market for LiDAR, accounting for 2/3 of the LiDAR TAM in the near term. Innoviz’s win for the production of an L3 platform, mature and proven technology and deep partnerships with four of the largest Tier I auto suppliers positions Innoviz to be a winner in the Consumer Vehicle market. Winning in the Consumer Vehicle market is expected to give Innoviz an advantaged platform that is already being used to expand into broader LiDAR applications such as Robotaxis/Delivery Vehicles, Drones, Security/Surveillance and the Internet of Things.
Innoviz’s latest product, InnovizTwo, offers a significant cost reduction and performance improvement compared to InnovizOne. InnovizTwo aims to meet automakers’ desired price target for LiDAR and allow car manufacturers to offer safe L2+ vehicles while paving the path to full L3 automation through roadway data collection and software updates. The transition from L2+ to L3 poses additional challenges to automakers with hands-free driving on highways occurring at higher speeds. Innoviz is accelerating the path to widespread adoption of L2/L2+ and thereby giving automakers the confidence to pursue full autonomy.
Omer Keilaf, Innoviz CEO said: “Innoviz continues to push the boundaries of LiDAR performance and price. Our engineers, along with our partner Magna International, have been working tirelessly to bring a solution that automakers can adopt at scale and trust to perform safely and reliably for the entire lifecycle of their vehicles. This milestone is pivotal for our continued growth and the advancement of the autonomous vehicle industry as a whole. It requires significant investment of time and resources and we’ve made great strides due to the support of our investors and partners. The public listing is a major step on our path to becoming one of the dominant players in the global autonomous driving industry.”
Nicolai Martin, Senior VP Automated Driving and Driver Assistance at BMW says: “Our goal is to offer safe driver assistance functions for our customers by using state-of-the-art sensors and creating a robust modular system. We are focusing on developing automated driving technology by using LiDAR sensors. Innoviz is one of our strongest partners that is enabling us to develop the future of automated driving.”
“Working with companies like Innoviz to transform innovative technologies into game-changing automotive-grade products is a win for our customers and the industry as we tackle challenges that come with autonomous vehicle development,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna International President and incoming Chief Executive Officer. “Innoviz LiDAR technology, along with Magna’s ADAS expertise, software integration and manufacturing excellence is meeting the need by bringing a high-performance, first-to-market solution.”
Bruce Linton, Chairman and CEO of Collective Growth, said, “Collective Growth sought to advance industrial practices and drive the evolution of the auto sector, a mission well served by this merger. We are extremely excited today to announce the merger with Innoviz and Collective Growth. Innoviz brings a winning combination of high-performance LIDAR technology, commercial partnerships with leading OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, and a dynamic management team.”
Jim Sheridan, CEO of Perception Capital Partners, who is expected to join the Board of Directors of the Company upon closing of the transaction, said, “I look forward to joining the Innoviz Board. Innoviz is perfectly positioned to extend its leading position in the large and rapidly growing ADAS and autonomous market.”
The Transaction is expected to provide up to $350 million in gross proceeds comprised of Collective Growth’s $150 million of cash held in trust, assuming no redemptions by public stockholders, and $200 million from a fully committed ordinary share PIPE at $10.00 per share, including strategic investments from Magna International, Innoviz’s Tier-1 partner, Antara Capital, co-sponsor and the largest investor in the PIPE, Phoenix Insurance and other institutional investors.
The combined Company is expected to have an estimated equity value of approximately $1.4 billion and is expected to be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “INVZ”. All current Innoviz stockholders will retain the entirety of their existing equity holdings in the combined Company.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Innoviz and Collective Growth, is targeted to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals and other customary closing conditions. Following completion of the transaction, Innoviz will retain its experienced management team. Founder Omer Keilaf will continue to serve as CEO.
Additional information about the proposed business combination, including a copy of the definitive agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Collective Growth with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as exclusive Financial advisor and Placement Agent to Innoviz in connection with the merger. Latham & Watkins LLP and Meitar | Law Offices are serving as Legal Advisors to Innoviz. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field LLP and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LP are serving as Legal Advisors to sponsors Antara Capital and Perception Capital, respectively, and Nechama Brin and Michael Yifrah are serving as Financial Advisors to Perception Capital. Graubard Miller and Goldfarb Seligman & Co. are serving as Legal Advisors to Collective Growth, and Cantor Fitzgerald is serving as Financial and Capital Markets Advisor to Collective Growth.
Investor Conference Call Information
A recording of an investor conference call between Innoviz and Collective Growth discussing the business and the proposed transaction will be available on Innoviz’s Investors page through December 23, 2020.