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A Zoox self-driving test vehicle. Photo: Zoox

Amazon announced a deal to purchase self-driving vehicle technology provider Zoox for upwards of $1 billion.

Why it matters: While Apple, Google and others have invested in self-driving technology, Amazon is the one whose core business could benefit the most, given how much the company spends to deliver goods to consumers.

Zoox CEO Aicha Evans told Axios earlier this year the company was in talks with strategic partners and corporate investors about raising more money. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Zoox and Amazon were in advanced talks.

Between the lines: Zoox has been by far the most ambitious self-driving tech company as it's been working on developing a fully integrated vehicle, not just the core autonomous technology.

  • Zoox planned from the beginning to develop the technology, build a car and operate a robotaxi service. Not even Waymo is trying to bite off that much (although Cruise is).
  • Developing a car costs billions of dollars, so Amazon will have to invest a lot more if it intends for Zoox to stay on that path.
  • It's unclear what exactly Amazon wants to do with Zoox's technology — use parts of its technology to apply to warehouse robots, delivery vehicles and other needs, or keep its whole project going.
  • Zoox has already raised about $1 billion in funding — and once was valued at $3.2 billion

Amazon's possible purchase of Zoox was first reported by The Information.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Sep 17, 2020 - Podcasts

Amazon exec on company Climate Pledge Fund

Amazon on Thursday announced the first companies to receive money from a $2 billion venture capital fund it formed to help combat climate change.

Axios Re:Cap digs into how Amazon hopes the fund will help achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2040, and whether the plan is more substance than spin, with Matt Peterson, Amazon's director of new initiatives and corporate development.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why Amazon committed $2 billion to fund clean energy technology

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Matt Peterson, a senior Amazon exec, joined the "Axios Re:Cap" podcast to explain the thinking behind the tech and commerce giant's climate venture capital fund, which rolled out its first investments on Thursday.

Why it matters: The fund, $2 billion to start, is beginning to invest on the heels of Amazon's late 2019 pledge to be net-zero emissions by 2040.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

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