Leader in connected vehicle data in deal to go public through reverse merger
Seneca Partners, the specialist SME investment business based in the North West has announced that EIS portfolio company, Manchester-based Wejo Limited (“Wejo”), a leader in connected vehicle data, is to go public through a reverse merger with Virtuoso Acquisition Corp (VOSO.O) at an estimated $1.1billion pro forma equity value. Seneca Partners first invested in Wejo via its EIS portfolio service in 2016 and with further funding rounds to assist in the company’s continued growth .
The deal will enable Wejo to accelerate expansion of markets across traffic management, advertising, fleet management, insurance, remote diagnostics, car sharing and rental, roadside assistance, payments, SaaS solutions and more.
Every day, Wejo collects in near-real-time 14.6 billion data points and analyses 66 million journeys across a network of 10.7 million live vehicles from a supply base of over 50 million connected vehicles. Wejo expects its connected vehicle network to expand significantly with nearly half of all vehicles globally expected to be connected vehicles by the end of this decade.
Ian Currie, Director of Seneca Partners commented; “This is a fantastic result for Richard and the entire Wejo team. Seneca Partners has supported Wejo with several funding rounds since the beginning of its incredible journey in 2016, when we first invested via our Seneca EIS portfolio service.
“A potential exit on this scale is always what we strive for from the point of making our initial investment and goes to the heart of the Seneca Partners investment philosophy of supporting best in class management teams on their growth journey towards a successful exit. However, unicorns don’t come along very often and this is one the entire UK business community should be celebrating.
“It also fully demonstrates the power and purpose of the UK Government’s tax advantaged schemes (in this case the Enterprise Investment Scheme) in helping the best young innovative UK companies to raise capital in order to continue to grow and scale.
“Much is made about levels of funds raised and how they are deployed but having provided cash returns to our EIS Portfolio Service investors of over £35million in the last six months and with a stellar tax-free return now due on Wejo these are true measures of EIS investment performance.’’
Richard Barlow, CEO and Founder of Wejo, said, “The team at Virtuoso champions our vision to transform connected vehicle data into data for good, and we are proud to establish the market standard for collecting and aggregating that data. Insights developed by our data will make mobility safer, smarter, and more sustainable. Driven by our marketplace solutions for customers and SaaS solutions for OEM and Tier 1 partners, we expect rapid growth in revenues over the next several years.
Notes to Editors
Formed in 2010, Seneca Partners is an award-winning specialist SME investment and advisory business based in the North West of England. The team brings together decades of success in providing bespoke investment and advisory solutions for clients across a multitude of financial areas including VCT, EIS & IHT product offerings. With over 70 staff working from five offices, Seneca Partners maintains a strong regional presence in the North West and North of the UK, with strong deal flow in the SME heartland areas.
Ian Currie, Director Seneca Partners
Ian Currie is a founder and director at Seneca Partners. He is a qualified accountant and stockbroker and prior to Seneca Partners, Ian worked at KPMG, Peel Hunt & Co, Apax Partners and Altium Capital. Ian sits on the Board of Trustees for the Lowry Arts Centre in Manchester and is a partner of Palatine Private Equity LLP.
Wejo’s is a global leader in connected vehicle data;
- Wejo’s data set is the only truly proprietary connected vehicle data set in the market
- Engagement with 17 OEMs and Tier 1s
- 9.1+ trillion data points collected to date, or 5 petabytes of information
- 44.4 billion journeys mapped to date and 354 billion miles curated
- A supply base of 50+ million connection-ready vehicles including 10.7 million live vehicles
- 24 patents pending plus one granted
- 274 customer and partner agreements
Pursuant to the transaction, Virtuoso will combine with Wejo at an enterprise value of $800 million, which implies an estimated $1.1 billion pro forma equity value. Wejo’s existing shareholders are rolling 100% of their existing equity into the combined company and will own approximately 64% of the issued and outstanding shares immediately following closing of the business combination, assuming no redemptions by Virtuoso’s public stockholders.
The transaction is expected to deliver approximately $330 million of gross proceeds, comprised of Virtuoso’s $230 million cash held in trust, assuming no redemptions by Virtuoso’s public stockholders, and a fully committed $100 million PIPE priced at $10.00 per share.
Cash proceeds from the transaction will fully fund Wejo’s five-year plan and position the company to execute on all of its strategic objectives, including acceleration of OEM onboarding, continued rollout of new offerings and services for connected vehicle customers and further expansion into new geographies and in-demand marketplaces. The company will be well capitalized with an estimated $300 million cash at closing and $32 million of debt.
The Board of Directors of Virtuoso and the Board of Directors of Wejo have each unanimously approved the proposed transaction, which is expected to close during the second half of 2021, subject to Virtuoso shareholder approval and customary closing conditions.