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Microsoft Corp is in talks to invest in Gatik, according to reporting from Reuters. Microsoft plans to invest $10 million into the autonomous trucking startup as part of a funding round that would value Gatik at more than $700 million.
While Microsoft is in advanced talks with Gatik, the terms of the deal have not been finalized and could still change.
As part of the deal, Gatik will use Microsoft’s Azure, a cloud and edge computing platform, to develop its autonomous delivery technology. Microsoft has previously invested in Cruise, another autonomous driving startup, although Cruise is developing autonomous robotaxis. Cruise also uses the Azure platform for its autonomous robotaxis.
Gatik’s autonomous trucking platform is used in light to medium-duty trucks to automate the middle mile in deliveries, meaning Gatik takes items from micro-fulfillment centers and dark stores and drops them off at pick-up points, like retail stores and distribution centers. The company’s trucks operate seven days a week, 12 hours a day on routes with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations.
In June 2022, Gatik announced that it signed a multi-year partnership with Georgia-Pacific, a distributor of tissue, pulp and paper-based packaging, and KBX, the transportation arm for Koch Industries. As part of the partnership, Gatik will automate some of the Georgia-Pacific-KBX on-road transportation networks in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, delivering goods across a network of 34 Sam’s Club locations.
The company hit a new milestone with its partnership with Walmart in November 2021. The company said it no longer has a human safety driver behind the wheel of two Level 4 autonomous box trucks operating in Bentonville, Arkansas, which is the home of the retail giant.
Since its founding in 2017, Gatik has raised $114.5 million in funding. Its last funding round, a Series B round, closed in August 2021 and totaled $85 million. The Series B round was led by new investor Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT). Existing investors Innovation Endeavours, Wittington Ventures, FM Capital, Dynamo Ventures, Trucks VC, Intact Ventures and others also participated.