Auto-Tech Transactions (03/14 – 03/18):

Dealer Tech & Vehicle Commerce:

Shift, the end-to-end online auto ecommerce platform, entered a definitive agreement to acquire assets of for $15 million in cash and 2.5 percent equity. With this move, Shift has signaled that they will allow auto dealers to post vehicles on their platform. (Link to article)ITV and Channel 4 are set to drive U.K.’s carwow’s exposure in a strategic media-for-equity deal struck part of the online car marketplace’s latest investment round. Carwow has attracted £17.2m in new investment in its latest investment round, with existing investors including Vitruvian Partners, Balderton Capital and Accel, providing the majority of the equity investment alongside Hercules Capital, Inc. which provided a £40m debt capital facility in December 2021. (Link to article)Moove Africa, an African mobility fintech that provides vehicle financing to drivers of ride-hailing platforms like Uber and other gig networks, has raised $105 million in new Series A2 financing. (Link to article)


Shared Mobility & Subscription:

Uber’s Middle Eastern subsidiary is looking to raise as much as $500 million from investors including regional sovereign wealth funds to help bankroll an expansion into services beyond ride-hailing. Dubai-based Careem has held talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s ADQ to raise the funds. Bank of America is advising on the transaction. (Link to article)


Swobbee, a Berlin-based startup that’s working on commercializing battery swapping for micromobility vehicles, has raised a $6.5 million Series A led by new strategic investor EIT InnoEnergy, a major accelerator of sustainable energies in Europe that’s supported by the European Union. (Link to article)


Software tools provider Applied Intuition has acquired vehicle dynamics specialist Mechanical Simulation Corporation. The transaction marries one of the best-known startups working on software tools for driver-assist and autonomous-driving systems with one known by automakers and suppliers for making highly accurate projections of real-world vehicle behavior. (Link to article)Chipmaking giant NVIDIA is investing $10 million in Uber spinout Serve Robotics, funds the startup will use to further expand its sidewalk delivery robot service outside Los Angeles and San Francisco. (Link to article)Amazon-owned robotaxi firm Zoox has acquired Strio. The Boston-based robotics startup was founded in 2020 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumns to bring autonomous picking and pruning to strawberry crops. It got up and running quickly during the pandemic, bringing its first prototype system to farms in California and Florida within about six months. (Link to article)Autobrains Technologies, a company focused on how to fix the 1% margin of error typical in self-driving with a “self-learning” approach that is hardware-agnostic, has raised $19 million, rounding out its Series C at $120 million. (Link to article)General Motors is expanding its ownership stake in self-driving car subsidiary Cruise, acquiring SoftBank Group Corp. Vision Fund 1’s equity ownership in Cruise for $2.1 billion. GM is also making an additional $1.35 billion investment in Cruise, replacing a previous commitment made by the fund in 2018. (Link to article)

Aftermarket & Repair:

DAINESE has been sold, as it moves out of the hands of Investcorp and into The Carlyle Group, for a reported €630 million sum. The brand was bought by Investcorp in 2014, which acquired the Italian brand directly from Lino Dainese. The Bahrain-based investment firm then sat on the company for the next eight years, selling it for over four times its original value. (Link to article)Edison Partners is adding $10 million to the Series B round for Spiffy — On-Demand Car Care. The added funds bring the total to $32 million. The deal includes a board seat for Lenard Marcus, a partner with Edison Partners. (Link to article)Tekmetric, a cloud-based shop management system for automotive repair shops, announced the close of a growth investment from Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE), an entrepreneur-centric growth equity firm exclusively focused on software and information services. (Link to article)


Vehicle Assembly, Supply Chain & Logistics:

Stellantis is ready to begin investing in startups. The company announced earlier this month, as part of the release of its Dare Forward 2030 business plan, that it would create a $329 million (300 million euros) venture capital fund. Stellantis’ fund will join several others already in operation, such as GM Ventures and Bill Ford’s Fontinalis Partners. (Link to article)WorkHound, the company that gathers feedback from drivers and other employees, has received a $12 million Series A round, completely funded by Level Equity. (Link to article)