Embark, a self-driving truck startup that went public in 2021, lays off 70% of its staff and mulls ‘shutting down completely’
Self-driving truck company Embark announced Friday it would lay off 70% of its employees and start evaluating options, including “shutting down completely.” The job cut is expected to impact about 230 employees. The company lost nearly a third of its value on Monday after the news.
The announcement came after a very difficult year for self-driving trucking companies like Plus, TuSimple, and Embark, as developing fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) has proven harder and more expensive than expected. In an email to Embark employees on Friday, founder and CEO Alex Rodrigues said:
“Today, having exhausted all alternatives, we are taking the incredibly difficult step of laying off ~70% of the company, and shutting down our SoCal (Southern California) and Houston offices.”
“Over the next handful of weeks, we will work closely with the Embark Board of Directors to evaluate our options, including selling assets, restructuring the company or shutting down completely,” Rodrigues added.
Embark said it expects to incur charges of between $7 million to $11 million related to the workforce reduction, Reuters reported.
We wrote about Embark in 2021 after the company went public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp. II at a market capitalization of $5.2 billion.
Embark was co-founded in 2016 by Alex Rodrigues and Brandon Moak. The company builds self-driving truck technology to make roads safer and transportation more efficient. Embark’s technology is already moving freight for five Fortune 500 companies in the southwest U.S. By moving real freight through our purpose-built transfer hubs.
The 28-year-old Rodrigues started building robots at age 11, and Brandon Moak, who Rodrigues first met and collaborated with while studying mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo.
Embark has also compiled many firsts for automated trucks, including driving across the country, operating in rain and fog, and navigating between transfer hubs. Embark is advancing the state of the art in automated trucks and bringing safe, efficient commercial transport closer every day. Embark is assembling a world-class group of engineers from companies like Tesla, Google, Audi, and NASA with a professional operations team that averages over a million miles per driver.