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TuSimple Holdings Closes Flat in Trading Debut

Autonomous semi-truck maker TuSimple stalls during its first day of trading.
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TuSimple Holdings  (TSP) - Get TuSimple Holdings, Inc. Class A Report hit a roadblock in its market debut Thursday as the autonomous semi-truck maker closed flat.

Shares of the San Diego, Calif. company had fallen during the day before ending at $40, matching the initial public offering.

This was above the expected range of between $35 and $39 a share. The shares opened Thursday at $40.25.

The company sold 27.03 million shares in the IPO to raise $1.08 billion, while selling shareholders sold 6.76 million shares to raise $270.3 million. The IPO pricing values the company at about $8.5 billion. 

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Revenue totaled $1.84 million last year, up from $710,000 in 2019. The company posted a net loss of $177.87 million last year, up from $84.883 million in 2019.

TuSimple, which was founded in 2015, said it intends to produce  autonomous trucks for the U.S. market by 2024.

Sun Dream, an affiliate of Sina, which runs China’s biggest microblogging platform Sina Weibo, is the company's largest investor.

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On March 1, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) requested a written notice from TuSimple regarding an investment by Sun Dream, the company said in a regulatory filing.

If is determined that the investment poses a threat to the national security of the country, the investor may be told to divest from TuSimple, the filing noted.

Last year, Navistar announced it would partner with TuSimple to build self-driving trucks powered by Nvidia's  (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report Drive AGX platform.

"We are an autonomous technology company that is revolutionizing the estimated $4 trillion global truck freight market," the company said in its prospectus.

TuSimple said it has "developed industry-leading autonomous technology specifically designed for semi-trucks, which has enabled us to build the world’s first Autonomous Freight Network in partnership with world-class shippers, carriers, railroads, freight brokers, fleet asset owners, and truck hardware partners."

"We are focused specifically on the truck freight market, which is a large and essential industry that moves approximately 80% of the freight in the United States by revenue," the company said.

TuSimple said the trucking industry is facing several challenges including driver shortages and high driver turnover.

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"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 94% of all serious accidents are due to human error," TuSimple said. "We believe that by developing an autonomous solution for long haul trucking, we can significantly improve safety in the trucking industry."