The Futurum Group's Statement on Israel

Plus Announces SPAC Deal to take Self-Driving Truck Startup Public

The News: Plus said on Monday it would go public through a merger with blank-check company Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V (HCIC.O) in a deal that values the self-driving truck technology startup at $3.3 billion.

The combined company will get proceeds of $500 million from the deal, including a private investment of $150 million. Investors in the deal include BlackRock (BLK.N) and D.E. Shaw group, among others. Read the full news piece on Reuters.

Analyst Take: Plus, formerly known as is a very interesting company, and its technology and prospectus are more interesting than many EV companies that have gone public via SPAC. This assessment is based upon the company’s market-ready technology, order flow, and data engine. I would further emphasize that its participation in the commercial trucking market rather than consumer EV also provides a well-defined TAM and an opportunity to take its advanced sensing technologies, including LIDAR and machine vision, to make trucks safer and more fuel-efficient. 

Plus, at this current juncture is a global outfit with two primary market focuses. The first is its domestic focus in the U.S., which currently looks at retrofitting existing trucks to supervised Level 4 (SL4). The second market is in China, where it is working on building full SL4 autonomous trucks in its partnership with FAW. 

Revenue Generation and Market Opportunity

The company is already seeing order flow from both markets with an order in hand for over 1,000 autonomy-enabled trucks to one of the largest private truck fleets and has already begun delivery in 2021. Plus, also shared in its prospectus that it has received thousands of advanced orders for its FAW J7L3 model in China. Thus, the current pipeline of business and fulfillment in-process is encouraging based upon the estimated $1.2 trillion market size for autonomous long-haul trucking market in the U.S. and China. 

Another critical data point that caught my attention was supervised driving technology and its impact immediately on trucking companies trying to save on fuel costs. With fuel being one of the highest costs for trucking companies and often an unpredictable cost if not hedged effectively through pre-purchasing, the Plus AV system can provide greater fuel efficiency yielding 10-20% fuel savings per truck. For large fleets in the U.S. market, these savings can quickly recapture the retrofitting cost while also increasing safety. 

Not all SPAC’s Are Created Equal – Like IPO’s 

While there has been a lot of debate around the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and its rapid rise in visibility over the past year; most of the debate has been tied to the variance in regulatory scrutiny that SPAC’s have had to endure in the process of going public.  

In the short run, this has led to some negative publicity for SPAC’s. Still, just like IPO’s and Direct Listing’s, the way any SPAC should be assessed shouldn’t be binary but instead based upon the validity of the company that is going public via the SPAC merger. 

Overall Impressions of the Plus + Hennessy Capital SPAC Announcement

With the trillion+ dollar TAM for long-haul trucking in the U.S. and China and the 4 trillion dollar TAM for freight, there is a clear market opportunity for Plus and makes the company a good candidate to not only go public but to perform well to meet a clear market need. 

SPAC’s, and the market in general, is in a more tenuous spot than it has been in some time. Still, the technology and current order flow that Plus is already seeing provide a clear sightline to the market’s interest in its technology. This early success serves as an indicator that Plus has a promising future in an exciting, and perhaps more importantly, necessary market space.  

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.

Read more analysis from Futurum Research:

AWS Nitro Enclaves: The AWS Answer for Trusted Execution Environments

Marvell Rapidly Strengthens IVN Proposition with New 10G Ethernet PHY Offering

Sevis Systems eCallme! Platform Gets New Call Security and Customer Engagement Features Designed for Enterprises

Image: Plus

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


Latest Insights:

On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead are joined by Lattice’s Jim Anderson, Esam Elashmawi, and Steve Douglass during the Lattice Developers Conference for a conversation on the key themes of the event, the latest announcements and more.
Nokia’s Digital Operations Center Uses the Modern Inventory Approach Integral to Advancing CSP Automation and Service Enablement Objectives
The Futurum Group’s Ron Westfall assesses why Nokia’s Digital Operations Center can enable CSPs to manage the entire service lifecycle by designing, delivering, and ensuring services, such as 5G slicing, at scale with rapidity.
Amazon Q Is the Latest AI Assistant—What Are the Drivers for AWS?
Mark Beccue, Research Director at The Futurum Group, examines what Amazon Q means for AWS’s AI business.
Reduced AI Training and Inference Costs Could Have Huge Market Impact
Mark Beccue, Research Director at The Futurum Group, examines AWS’s claims that Amazon SageMaker HyperPod provides 40% reduction in AI training time.