Category Archives: Automotive

Sony venture arm invests in geocoding startup what3words

Sony’s venture capital arm has invested in what3words, the startup that has divided the entire world into 57 trillion 3-by-3 meter squares and assigned a three-word address to each one. Financial details were not disclosed. The startup’s novel addressing system isn’t the whole story. The ability to integrate what3words into voice assistants is what has piqued the interest and investment from Sony and others. “what3words have solved the considerable problem of entering a precise location into a machine by voice. The dramatic rise in voice-activated systems calls […]

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GBatteries let you charge your car as quickly as visiting the pump

A YC startup called GBatteries has come out of stealth with a bold claim: they can recharge an electric car as quickly as it takes to fill up a tank of gas. Created by aerospace engineer Kostya Khomutov, electrical engineers Alex Tkachenko and Nick Sherstyuk, and CCO Tim Sherstyuk, the company is funded by the likes of Airbus Ventures, Initialized Capital, Plug and Play and SV Angel. The system uses AI to optimize the charging systems in electric cars. “Most companies are focused on developing new chemistries […]

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Report: Self-driving car startup Aurora is raising capital at a $2B valuation

Early last year, LinkedIn co-founder and prolific venture capital investor Reid Hoffman called Chris Urmson “the Henry Ford of autonomous vehicles (AV).” The vote of confidence and big check from Hoffman, coupled with a team of deeply knowledgable AV entrepreneurs, has catapulted his company, Aurora Innovation, squarely into “unicorn” territory. Aurora, the developer of a full-stack self-driving software system for automobile manufacturers, is raising at least $500 million in equity funding at more than a $2 billion valuation in a round expected to be led by new investor Sequoia […]

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SoftBank invests in parking startup ParkJockey pushing valuation to $1 billion

SoftBank continues to invest in the future of transportation — this time in ParkJockey, a startup that has built a technology platform aimed at monetizing parking lots. And ParkJockey, which was founded in 2013, is already using that capital to scale up. Along with the SoftBank investment news, ParkJockey also announced that it was acquiring two of the largest parking operators in North America. The startup, with help from Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Capital and debt financing from Owl Rock, said it had reached an agreement to acquire Imperial Parking Corporation, […]

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Lidar startup AEye raises $40M Series B led by the Taiwanese government’s investment firm

Lidar technology developer AEye will scale its operations globally through manufacturing partnerships after raising a $40 million Series B. The round was led by Taiwania Capital, the investment firm created and backed by Taiwan’s National Development Council, and includes returning investors Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures and Tychee Partners. This brings the California-based startup’s total funding so far to about $61 million. In a press statement, founder and CEO Luis Dussan said Taiwania’s investment is a strategic one and will give AEye more access to manufacturing, […]

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Meet Uber’s newly promoted chief product officer, Manik Gupta

Manik Gupta got his first taste of solving logistics nightmares when, fresh out of college, he was delivering Palm Pilots around Singapore. He’d started a precursor to Groupon called BuyItTogether. “We were a full-stack marketplace where we were also delivering the goods. That’s what caused us to not have good profit margins. Actually, zero profit margins,” he recalls with a laugh. His new gig isn’t earning profits either. Uber lost nearly $1 billion last quarter. But the company sees Gupta’s experience with delivery and maps as crucial […]

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RideCell expands funding round to $60 million

RideCell, a transportation software startup, has doubled its previously announced Series B funding round to $60 million, a sign that investors believe demand for cloud-based mobility platforms will grow as more companies try to scale up car-sharing, ride-hailing and even robotaxi businesses. The company, which has developed a platform designed to help car-sharing, ride-sharing and autonomous technology companies manage their vehicles, announced it raised $28 million in May. Activate Capital led this round; its co-founder and managing director Raj Atluru has joined RideCell’s board. Reinsurance group Munich Re’s […]

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China’s Nio invests in LiDAR startup Innovusion

Innovusion, a two-year-old startup developing LiDAR sensor technology for autonomous vehicles, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Chinese firms Nio Capital and Eight Roads Ventures along with U.S.-based F-Prime Capital. Other seed round and strategic investors joined the round, the startup said. Nio Capital is the venture arm of Nio, the Chinese electric automaker aiming to compete with Tesla. Nio, which raised $1 billion when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in September, has operations in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, although it only sells […]

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Online used car startup Shift raises $140 million

Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for used cars, has closed a Series D financing round of more than $140 million in equity and debt. The round, which consists of about $70 million in debt and $71 million in equity, was led by automotive retailer Lithia Motors. Bryan DeBoer, CEO and president of Lithia, will join Shift’s board of directors. Previous investors Alliance Ventures, BMW iVentures, DCM, DFJ, G2VP, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Highland Capital also participated. This new capital brings Shift’s total financing of equity and debt to […]

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Carmera, the mapping startup for autonomous vehicles, raises $20 million

Autonomous vehicles need more than a brain to operate safely in a world filled with obstacles. They need maps. Or more specifically, self-driving vehicles need maps that constantly refresh and can deliver important information — like that sudden lane closure due to construction or a double-parked vehicle — so they can take the safest and most efficient route possible. This specific need has provided an opening for startups in what once looked like a locked-up mapping market dominated by a few giants. Carmera, a New York-based mapping and […]

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