EXCLUSIVE: How GM, Microsoft, Palantir-Backed Wejo Is Scaling Its Connected Vehicles, Marketplaces

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The connected vehicle company Wejo is set to go public via special purpose acquisition company Virtuoso Acquisition Corp VOSO in a $1.1-billion deal. 

The pent-up demand from original equipment manufacturers ultimately led Wejo to go public via the SPAC route, Wejo CEO Richard Barlow said Wednesday in an exclusive interview on Benzinga's YouTube show "SPACs Attack."

Partnerships: Notable Wejo investors include General Motors Co GM, Microsoft Corp MSFT and Palantir Technologies PLTR

General Motors invested in 2018 following a two-year commercial relationship with the company, the Wejo CEO said. Wejo's partnership with General Motors hasn't stopped the company from working with other OEMs, Barlow said. 

Microsoft doesn't invest in SPACs, yet the big tech company invested in Wejo, he said. Wejo is providing vehicle data to help Microsoft with its mapping products, he said. 

Wejo processes over 10 trillion data points, Barlow said, adding that the data processing is where its partnership with Palantir comes into play. 

Palantir makes products for human-driven analysis of real-world data. As a leader in the connected car space, Palantir wanted to partner with Wejo, Barlow told Benzinga. He noted that both Wejo and Palantir remain private about the details of their partnership.

Wejo's Path To Scaling Up: The company intends to offer products and services for a wide range of applications including insurance, car rentals, payments, fleet management, remote diagnostics and roadside assistance.

A majority of new vehicles already contain embedded connectivity, Barlow said, adding that this is not something that is way out in the future — it's happening now. 

Wejo currently has 11.3 million "live" vehicles on streets across the globe, Barlow said. Wejo expects to have 30 million vehicles on the roads by the end of 2022.

Wejo is scaling up its vehicles as well as its marketplaces, which creates a "double scale" effect on the company's revenues, he said.

"As we activate more marketplaces, even if our vehicles' scale stayed the same, our revenues would scale," Barlow said.

The Wejo CEO went on to talk about target markets, advantages over the competition, Wejo Studio and more.

See the full interview here:

SPAC Notes: The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. Pending shareholder approval, Wejo will be listed on the Nasdaq and trade under the ticker symbol "WEJO."

VOSO Price Action: Virtuoso Acquisition Corp has traded as high as $10.17 and as low as $9.43 since its IPO in January.

The stock was up 0.11% at $9.94 at the close Wednesday.

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