SoftBank considers sale of Boston Dynamics to South Korean Hyundai for $ 1 billion
SoftBank Group is in talks with South Korean carmaker Hyundai to sell Boston Dynamics. The deal could be worth up to $ 1 billion, Bloomberg reports.
Sources familiar with the situation told the publication about this. Bloomberg interlocutors explained that the terms of the deal have not yet been finally approved, and it may fail.
Representatives of SoftBank, Hyundai, and Boston Dynamics did not comment on the information about the possible sale of the robot manufacturer to the South Korean company. Hyundai explained that it "is constantly exploring various investment and partnership opportunities."
The sale of Boston Dynamics will be a new round in the company's history - it became independent in 1992, emerging from the wing of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and operated independently until 2013, when it was bought by Google. In 2017, the robot manufacturer was sold again, this time being the Japanese SoftBank Group.
According to Bloomberg, for the most part, Boston Dynamics operates more as a research organization than as a business, without bringing its owners profit. This is probably why SoftBank wants to sell it to Hyundai, which, in turn, could use the products of the Boston company, since it makes robots that are used in industrial facilities.
In June 2020, Boston Dynamics decided to start open sales of its Spot robot at $ 74.5 thousand per copy. Prior to that, the company's customers could only rent devices. At the moment, the robot can only be purchased in the United States - representatives of companies from other countries are still deprived of such an option, they can only rent a robot.
In September, Boston Dynamics CEO Robert Plater told VentureBeat that the company really isn't making a profit right now. Nonetheless, he said, Boston Dynamics was able to achieve its target for Spot sales in the second quarter of the year, and in two and a half years - by 2023-2024 - the company can finally become profitable.