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Investment Into Auto Tech On Pace To Break Annual Records

Investment Into Auto Tech On Pace To Break Annual Records

Investment Into Auto Tech On Pace To Break Annual Records

“Not all the Auto tech investment action is in the USA!

2015 marked a record year for deals to auto tech startups as a growing host of private companies have begun targeting various categories within the automotive ecosystem. In 2016, investor interest has been further piqued by deep-pocketed corporates on the hunt in the space, with GM acquiring self-driving tech startup Cruise in March as well as Verizon purchasing connected vehicle company Telogis in June.

With these developments in mind, we used CB Insights data to analyze how financing trends in the space have evolved in 2016. We define auto tech as companies that use software to improve safety, convenience, and efficiency in cars, specifically looking at:

  • Assisted Driving/Autonomous Software
  • Driver Safety Tools
  • Connected Vehicle/Driving Data
  • Fleet Telematics
  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
  • Auto Cybersecurity

With $450M invested across 36 deals to date, 2016 is off to an even hotter start than last year, with a funding total already just shy of 2015′s full-year figure of $478M. At their current run rates, both deals and dollars to private auto tech companies are on track for fresh annual highs. If dollar funding in particular sustains its momentum, it will finally eclipse the mark set in 2013 (which was largely attributable to a $400M financing to Mobileye).

As autonomous driving startups have caught the eye of investors and industry observers alike, it’s not shocking that the biggest deal thus far went to Zoox, which completed a $200M financing towards the close of June from investors such as DFJ and Lux Capital.

Over half a dozen other early-stage self-driving startups have also raised in 2016 to date, including five that we examined in early June and the UK-based FiveAI just this week.

Other fields of auto tech have seen strong interest as well. Nexar and Pearl Automation raised in June, with both startups leveraging smartphones to provide advanced driver safety and assistance tools. Nexar is building an AI-based dashcam app, while Pearl is fielding a connected backup camera (with more products in the pipeline). Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-X mesh network provider Veniam also closed its $22M Series B in February.


Here in the UK you can also get invoved in the Auto tech investment with Cleancar. Clean car is an amazing tool to help individuals and organisations understand if their regular car journey or vehicle fleet transport usage is suitable for electric/hybrid vehicles plus calculates the exact cost savings and environmental benefits of making the switch.

CleanCar is crowdfunding soon – a switched on UK Auto tech startup! For more information on Cleancar crowdfunding please click on the following link to express your interest



Pitchfest Alex Baker of CleanCar

Pitchfest Alex Baker of CleanCar

CleanCar uses technology to provide information during the switchover process from petrol/diesel to electric of hybrid vehicles. The firm has been selected to take part in this month’s pitch fest in Birmingham. Alex Baker, of CleanCar, caught up with BQ to tell us a little bit more…

Alex Baker, CleanCar

Alex Baker, CleanCar

Describe your business in no more than 100 words.
CleanCar informs the switchover decision-making process from petrol/diesel to electric or hybrid vehicles for the B2B Fleet/company car driver (but also the private motorist).

It does this via a simple plug-in device that collects GPS data that is processed and analysed by the CleanCar platform which outputs an EV or PHEV suitability rating plus recommends the ideal vehicle specification to replace the ICE car based on journey pattern data.

This also includes a Whole Life Cost report that fully informs the buying decision making and in addition provides emission reduction estimates based on mileage and a proximity based charge point guide to the specific journey profile.

What are you looking to fund with this investment?

International expansion and further technology development

Who inspires you to do what you do?
Many business leaders have inspired me to create something worthwhile but in recent years it would be leaders such as Elon Musk at Tesla or the team at Google who are truly disrupting old business models and making a real difference to society in terms of jobs, wealth creation and positive environmental impact especially in the Automotive eco system.

Have you explored any other avenues of funding?
We have been approached by private Angel investors and VC’s and have looked at the possibility of crowd funding

How do you differentiate your business from others?

We are pretty unique in our field. Trailblazing you could say. What we do is in effect make a complex buying decision easy based on real world data.

Your regular car usage will indicate if an electric or hybrid car is right for your journey profile and transport needs.

CleanCar provides range anxiety comfort, a complete cost analysis with identified savings as well as a real measure on the emission reduction impact that you as an individual will make over time and usage.

Where do you see your company in five years time?
Our aim is to have a vibrant International business within a 5 year period operating across all continents helping both the private motorist as well as businesses make the right transport choices based on leading edge technology.

By then, sharing economies and smart cities will have developed fast and these are areas where CleanCar’s data insights, expertise and know how will provide knowledge that will power the connected car era we are just entering.

Who would your dream customers be?

Well for a start every one of the several million or so folks who will be buying electric cars in the next couple of years globally as well as those large Fleet operators and business car drivers who want to make an informed buying decision

How far is your product/service away from being market ready?
Its ready now. We are just at the green light stage of go to market.

What is the one thing you hope investors take away from your pitch?
That would have to be three key takeaways.

1. The sheer scale of the opportunity, 2. The simplicity of the user experience despite the complexity of the data analytics in the background and thirdly the potential ROI in monetary and environmental terms that CleanCar can deliver in the next 5 year period

Pitchfest is a competition giving 12 finalists from the West Midlands’ most innovative entrepreneurial businesses an opportunity to boost their profile as they attempt to raise a total of £3.2m in finance from a national audience of investors.

See how the finalists get on – you can watch their final pitches as part of Venturefest West Midlands on Thursday 23rd June 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham.  Book your free place now for the event to ensure you don’t miss out.