• Steve Greenfield

Steve Greenfield and the CBT News Friday Five: SpinCar Acquires Pulsar AI and More AutoTech News!


Steve Greenfield of Automotive Ventures highlights this week's top five automotive technology deals for CBT News. To see more episodes and other great automotive content, visit www.cbtnews.com and subscribe to CBT News.


Automotive Ventures is the resource for automotive technology entrepreneurs and financial & strategic acquirers. The company, founded in 2014, offers fundraising, growth strategy, and transaction guidance.


Let’s jump right into the technology deals of this past week.


First up, SpinCar has acquired Pulsar AI, the creator of the auto industry’s most advanced conversational AI platform.


By combining Pulsar’s automated communication technology with SpinCar’s industry-leading digital merchandising offering, the company will expand its solution set to drive greater levels of online shopper engagement and lead conversion for auto retailers.


Big news this week for online marketplaces with new international money coming into the US market.


The largest automotive classified marketplace in Australia, Carsales.com.au is acquiring 49% of Trader Interactive for $624 million dollars, valuing the US-based company at $1.62 billion dollars.


In the Lidar and autonomous vehicle technology space this week, Innovusion, a five-year-old lidar company and a supplier to Chinese electric car upstart NIO, landed a Series B funding round of $64 million dollars. The new proceeds boost its total investment to over $100 million dollars.


Transitioning from Lidar to Radar, Oculii has raised a $55 million dollar B round, co-led by Catapult Ventures and Conductive Ventures, with participation from Taiwania Capital, Susquehanna Investment Group, HELLA Ventures, PHI-Zoyi Capital, R7 Partners, VectoIQ, ACVC Partners, Mesh Ventures, Schox Ventures, and Signature Bank.


Keeping with the theme of autonomous vehicles this week, NI (or National Instruments) has acquired monoDrive, a leader in ultra-high fidelity simulation software for advanced driver-assistance systems (also known as ADAS) and autonomous vehicle development.


Finally, in international news, electric and autonomous freight tech company Einride has raised $110 million dollars in a Series B round.


The Stockholm, Sweden-based company, which was founded in 2016, makes autonomous and electric freight trucks for the transportation of goods, as well as provides a freight mobility platform.


And on to our Companies to Watch!

Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to keep an eye on. If you read my monthly industry intel report, I showcase a few companies each month, and we take the opportunity here on the Friday Five to share some of those companies each week with you.


First up, we have The Dealer Trade Network, founded in 2018, and located in Louisville, Kentucky.


The Dealer Trade Network is the largest and most trusted name in dealer trades. Their dealer partners need assistance with their inventory and rely on their professional staff to accomplish the mission. The Dealer Trade Network helps dealers place excess inventory or purchase new car inventory through business-to-business wholesale transactions.


Our second Company to Watch this week is AmpUp, founded in 2017 and located in Cupertino, California.


AmpUp is an electric vehicle software company and network provider that enables drivers, hosts, and fleets to charge their vehicles stress-free. AmpUp gives businesses and property owners the ability to manage multiple charge stations and locations in one platform. AmpUp is also home to the world’s fastest growing shared charging network, helping increase station access for EV drivers.


So that’s your weekly Friday Five, a quick wrap-up of the big deals in automotive technology over the past week.

It’s an exciting time to be in the automotive space, with a ton of deals going on. Make sure you stay tuned in each week to stay up to date on the auto industry’s technology M&A activity. I’ll keep my fingers on the pulse of deals being done -- so I can share updates with you.


If you’re an early stage automotive technology entrepreneur looking to raise money, or an entrepreneur who wants to chat about the best timing and process to sell your company to achieve the best outcome, I’d love to discuss with you. Visit www.automotiveventures.com for more information.

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