GM-Backed Wejo Is in SPAC Merger Talks With Virtuoso

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Wejo Ltd., the British automotive-data startup backed by General Motors Co., is in talks to go public through a merger with Virtuoso Acquisition Corp., a blank-check firm, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Virtuoso is seeking to raise new equity to support a transaction with a combined enterprise value of more than $1 billion, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations. Terms could change and, as with all transactions that aren’t yet finalized, it’s possible the talks could collapse.

A representative for Virtuoso declined to comment and Wejo didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 2014 and led by Chief Executive Officer Richard Barlow, Wejo describes itself as a connected-vehicle data specialist. It says its technology interprets information from more than 10 million vehicles.

In addition to GM, the company’s investors include Hella Ventures, Platina Partners, DIP Capital and the U.K. government’s Future Fund.

Wejo, based in Manchester, England, with an office in Detroit, named John Maxwell chief financial officer in March.

Virtuoso, led by CEO Jeffrey D. Warshaw and CFO Michael O. Driscoll -- both executives at radio broadcaster Connoisseur Media --raised $230 million in a January initial public offering.

Another automotive data startup, Otonomo Technologies Ltd., agreed in February to go public through a merger with Software Acquisition Group Inc. II.

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