Embark Trucks lays off workers, explores liquidation of self-driving truck assets
Embark Trucks, the autonomous trucking company that went public in 2021 through a merger with a specialty acquisition company, is laying off 70% of its workforce and closing two offices.
And the pain may not be over, as CEO Alex Rodrigues noted in an email to employees that the remaining 30% of workers will focus on winding down operations.
The company said in a regulatory filing that about 230 employees were laid off on Friday.
A source familiar with the plan said the cuts were announced Friday morning. The layoffs are expected to occur in the first and second quarters.
“Unfortunately, after thoroughly evaluating all alternatives, we were unable to identify a path forward for the business in its current form,” Rodrigues wrote, later adding.
“Today, having exhausted all alternatives, we are taking the incredibly difficult step of laying off ~70% of the company and closing our offices SoCal and Houston.”
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.
Asset sales appear to be another line of business, according to a regulatory filing released Friday and Rodrigues’ email.
Embark’s board on Wednesday approved “a process to explore, review and evaluate a number of potential strategic alternatives available to the company.”
Including alternative uses of its assets to commercialize its technologies, additional sources of financing, as well as a possible dissolution or liquidation of the company. assets.
“The board’s decision follows an extensive evaluation by the company of alternative markets in which it could commercialize its technology.
As well as an exploration of a possible sale of the company, conducted with the assistance of a financial advisor,” it said.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Alex Rodrigues and CTO Brandon Moak, Embark Trucks quickly gained investor attention.
Rodrigues and Moak met while working on self-driving technology at the University of Waterloo, where they both completed engineering degrees in Mechatronics.
By 2018, the startup had raised about $47 million. But it was the SPAC boom that really brought in the capital—at least for a short time.
In 2021, it agreed to merge with the special acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II in a transaction valued at $5.2 billion.
Today, Embark Trucks lacks capital like other companies trying to develop and commercialize autonomous vehicle technology.
The company’s market capitalization is about $90 million; at the end of the third quarter, the most recent quarterly report the company filed, it had about $190 million in cash and cash equivalents.