Driverless Truck Company TuSimple Gears Up for Its IPO Date


Apr. 12 2021, Updated 11:23 a.m. ET

Unmanned truck company TuSimple is taking its company public—and it isn't skimping out. With a projected IPO valuation of $1 billion, the autonomous fleet operation is seeking a $7.95 corporate valuation.

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When is TuSimple going public? What can investors do to prepare? 

TuSimple is poised to create a significant opportunity in the public market.

TuSimple has already partnered with major names in the freight industry, including UPS, U.S. Xpress, and Traton SE (a Volkswagen subsidiary). Once public, retail investors will be able to take part in the company's expected growth.

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TuSimple has multiple selling points. Its trucks are environmentally efficient with minimized emissions compared to tractor-trailers. Also, the company is able to increase delivery speeds. Driverless vehicles aren't restricted by laws regulating how long drivers can operate a vehicle. Also, the company's level four autonomous technology has been proven to reduce accidents without the weight of human error.  

TuSimple's losses outweigh its revenue by a landslide.

Dreams are great, but intention can only get you so far. At some point, you have to make things worthwhile for investors. TuSimple's expansion and growth are impressive, but it will take time to see if that translates into lucrative returns. In 2020, TuSumple earned $1.8 million in revenue, but that was wiped out by $178 million in losses. 

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Dr. Xiaodi Hou founded TuSimple in 2015 to develop an enterprise aligned with level four autonomous driving. It has only been six years since the founding, so the company is still in startup mode. With that comes expenses and debt, so its fiscal scale makes sense. However, investors will need to decide for themselves whether the risk of future statements makes sense for their portfolio. A tight time horizon or low risk tolerance might mean that it isn't a good fit. 

TuSimple IPO date could be just weeks away

TuSimple filed form S-1 (registration statement) with the SEC on March 23. The company plans to trade under the ticker symbol "TSP" on the Nasdaq, which is traditionally a tech-focused exchange.

Currently, there isn't a firm debut date. However, TuSimple plans to price its shares by mid-April. Based on the normal IPO trajectory, the next step would be aligning an official public offering date.

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How to buy in on the TuSimple IPO after it's public

TuSimple is raising an estimated $986 million in capital through a public offering as well as a dual private placement. Some of the available shares will come from existing investors selling off a portion of their stake for a profit. For retail investors, the price discovery phase takes a few hours once the stock actually goes public. This is done by a designated market maker in partnership with insiders and institutional buyers.

Once this process is complete, investors will be able to find TuSimple shares on their preferred brokerage (like Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, Wealthfront, or Robinhood). In the meantime, it's a good idea to analyze the autonomous driving market before the TuSimple IPO date rolls around.


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