Self-Driving Tech Maker Quanergy Is Said to Interview IPO Banks

Race To Build Self-Driving Cars Accelerates

Quanergy Systems Inc. could be the first initial public offering to emerge from a fleet of autonomous driving technology companies.

Quanergy has asked bankers to submit their pitches to advise it on taking the company public, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is eying 2018 for an IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

A representative for the Sunnyvale, California-based company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Quanergy makes lidar, a laser sensing technology vital for self-driving cars. Autonomous vehicles typically have two or more lidar sensors, which use laser beams to generate real-time 3-D images of the roadway and surrounding objects. Quanergy has a product that sells for about $4,000 -- relatively inexpensive compared to some peers -- and aims to have one that sells below $100 in three to four years.

The industry has been heating up as the futuristic vision of roads teeming with self-driving cars moves closer to reality. Technology giants Alphabet Inc. and Apple Inc. are investing in autonomous driving systems. Carmakers including Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen AG are introducing vehicles with some self-driving capabilities. VW’s Audi unit in July unveiled the first production car with its own embedded lidar system.

Quanergy has raised more than $150 million from investors including Daimler AG, Delphi Automotive Plc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who invested in Facebook Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. before their IPOs, said in April that he owns a stake in the company.

The company was valued at about $1.5 billion in its 2016 private funding round, Chief Executive Officer Louay Eldada said in an interview in February.

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