Self-driving truck startup TuSimple files for U.S. IPO

(Reuters) - Self-driving truck startup TuSimple Holdings Inc filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday, joining a clutch of companies looking to capitalize on rising investor interest in the sector.

The company did not disclose the number of shares it plans to offer to investors or the price range for its offering.

Dozens of startups, automakers, and large technology companies, including Google’s Waymo and China-based Xpeng Inc, are accelerating work on self-driving car systems to cash in on the technology, which is expected to bring a sea change in the transportation industry.

Other self-driving companies such as Velodyne, Luminar Technologies and Aeva have also recently filed to go public, banking on a historic boom in U.S. capital markets.

Companies raised roughly $167 billion through stock market floats in 2020, according to Dealogic -- a record that might be eclipsed again this year, according to investment bankers.

San Diego, California-based TuSimple, backed by Volkswagen’s commercial trucking unit TRATON SE and United Parcel Service Inc, is developing self-driving trucks with Navistar International Corp that are slated to start production in 2024.

It launched a self-driving freight network partnership with UPS and Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s supply chain unit, McLane, in July that it said should be operational nationwide by 2024.

Founded in 2015, TuSimple was under the scanner of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States due to its ties with China, the Wall Street Journal reported here earlier. But the committee did not pursue any action against the company.

TuSimple’s revenue more than doubled to $1.8 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

Net loss attributable to common stockholders widened to $198.8 million, from a loss of $145 million a year earlier.

Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Reporting by Niket Nishant and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni