Japanese map platform developer Dynamic Map Platform plans to acquire Detroit-based Ushr for nearly 20 billion yen ($181.1 million) in a bid to cement a stronger position in the burgeoning self driving cars market, the Nikkei newspaper said.
Dynamic Map Platform would acquire U.S. map startup Ushr as it seeks a stronger position to challenge Alphabet Inc’s Google and Chinese rivals, the Japanese daily said on Wednesday.
The takeover bid was expected to be lodged as soon as Wednesday, Nikkei reported.
The deal has a Canadian connection, as Ushr was spun out two years ago from GeoDigital Inc., a Canadian-domiciled company. Both GeoDigital – which is managed from Atlanta but was previously headquartered in Hamilton, Ont. – and the spun-out Ushr were part-financed by Canadian venture capital firm EnerTech Capital.
The sale of Ushr “is a big success story for us,” said EnerTech managing director Wally Hunter, who added his firm was the leading proponent of carving out Ushr from GeoDigital in 2017. He did not disclose the size of his firm’s initial investment or return on the sale.
Dynamic Map Platform, which counts some of Japan’s top car makers like Toyota Motor, Nissan and Honda as investors, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters, while Ushr was not immediately available for comment.
Ushr and Dynamic Map Platform plan to invest more than 10 billion yen in collecting road data in Japan and the United States, which will be used by various automakers, said Nikkei.
With a file from the Globe’s Sean Silcoff