April 26, 2021

WovenPlanet400x275Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, has agreed to acquire Level 5, the self-driving division of Lyft, one of the largest ride-hailing companies in the world. The acquisition marks the first major deal for the newly established Woven Planet. Lyft will receive approximately $550 million in cash, with $200 million paid upfront, and $350 million in payments over a five-year period.

The deal will combine scientists and software engineers from Level 5, Woven Planet, and researchers from Toyota Research Institute already working together with Woven Planet. The resulting combined “dream team” of approximately 1,200 employees will represent one of the most diverse, well-resourced, and talented groups in the field, the companies said.

“This acquisition advances our mission to develop the safest mobility in the world at scale,” said James Kuffner, CEO of Woven Planet. “The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at TRI, have already established a center of excellence for software development and technology in the Toyota Group. Bringing Level 5’s world-class engineers and experts into the fold – as well as additional technology resources – will allow us to have even greater speed and impact. This deal will be key in weaving together the people, resources, and infrastructure that will help us to transform the world we live in through mobility technologies that can bring about a happier, safer future for us all.”

Woven Planet started its business in January 2021, as an expansion of the operations of TRI, and is dedicated to its vision, “Mobility to Love, Safety to Live,” to life. Under the shared goal, the four companies (Woven Planet Holdings, Woven Core, Woven Alpha, and Woven Capital) aim to transform how people live, work, and move through new innovations and investment in automated driving, robotics, smart cities, and more.

“With the acquisition of Level 5, Woven Planet is driving towards its mission to combine the innovative culture of Silicon Valley with world-renowned Japanese craftsmanship to create the mobility solutions of the future,” said George Kellerman, head of investments & acquisitions at Woven Planet. “This acquisition significantly accelerates our ability to bring technology solutions forward with an influx of exceptional engineers and leading-edge technology. It also provides a solid foundation for international expansion and future hiring efforts in the world’s strongest talent markets. We aim to become the center of interconnected mobility systems, weaving together a variety of technologies and partnerships extending far beyond the automotive industry. This acquisition marks the first in a coordinated strategy to consolidate leading technologies and talent to help realize this vision.”

More details on Woven Planet and its goals are available here.

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