Auto-Tech Transactions (03/21 – 03/25):

Dealer Tech & Vehicle Commerce:

myKaarma announced a major investment partnership with H.I.G. Growth Partners. Founded in 2012, myKaarma is a rapidly growing provider of innovative end-to-end solutions for franchise automotive dealerships and has expanded to over 1,500 dealerships in the United States and Canada. With over $11 Billion in payments processed, 230 million text messages transmitted, and over 2.5 million videos recorded, customers have realized a 30% lift in RO dollars when using the latest solutions. myKaarma is an advanced end-to-end platform with scheduling, communications, payment, pickup and delivery, video MPI, BDC solutions, and insightful reporting. (Link to article)Aimed at preventing people from being driven up the wall trying to obtain the best car finance, Australian digital car loan comparison-site Driva has raised $6 million in capital growth funding in a round led by early-stage investors Carthona Capital. The latest seed raise comes less than a year after the Sydney-based fintech raised $3 million in April 2021. (Link to article)Auto Trader UK has acquired the share capital of Autorama – owner of Vanarama – in a deal worth up to £200 million, subject to regulatory approvals. Autorama, under its Vanarama brand, is a platform for aggregating leasing deals from multiple funders and OEMs and has sold more than 120,000 vehicles to date. Auto Trader, which is understood to have paid £150m in cash, then up to £50m in shares based on performance over the next year for the business, says the aquisition will give it the opportunity to build on existing partnership with OEMs, funders and retailers. (Link to article)

Shared Mobility & Subscription:

Kyte, an on-demand car rental delivery startup, has secured $200 million in credit financing from Goldman Sachs and private equity firm Ares Management Corporation. The funding will be used to help Kyte expand into new cities and accelerate growth for its fleet of vehicles. The valuation of the San Francisco-based company wasn’t disclosed. It was valued at $145 million after a $30 million funding round in October, according to data provider PitchBook Data. (Link to article)



Ola Electric, India’s leading manufacturer of EVs, has invested in an Israeli battery technology company StoreDot, a pioneer in batteries with extreme fast charging (XFC) technology. (Link to article)



California-based Solo AVT raised a $7 million seed funding round led by Trucks Venture Capital with participation from Maniv Mobility and Wireframe Ventures Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies wants to build electric, purpose-built heavy-duty truck platforms for autonomous freight. (Link to article)Bridgestone Americas has taken a minority stake in May Mobility, a Michigan-based autonomous shuttle startup. Bridgestone’s partnership with May Mobility will see the AV startup integrate Bridgestone’s predictive tire wear modeling technology into its vehicles later this year. Bridgestone’s in-wheel sensors and predictive algorithms monitor the health of tires, including tire pressure, temperature and tread wear, which will ultimately help May reduce the total cost of AV ownership and improve fleet safety, according to a May spokesperson. Through this integration, Bridgestone will also gain insights into AV operations to improve its core tire products. (Link to article)Autonomous driving technology company recently obtained more than $400 million in a new round of financing, and its valuation after the investment totals $4.4 billion. The investors were existing shareholder GAC Group, as well as new shareholders Bosch, China Arab Investment Funds and The Carlyle Group. (Link to article)Chinese EV chassis-maker PIX recently secured 72 million yuan ($11 million) from a Series pre-A round, lifting its capital raised to $20 million. The company was part of hardware accelerator HAX’s second batch when it started out by building drone solutions. Five years ago it drove into the automotive space and has since landed a handful of customers across China, Europe, North America and Australia. Some of the big names include Alibaba Group, which uses its skateboard chassis, as well as Baidu, Inc. and a Tier-1 German auto parts maker, which can’t be named due to a confidentiality agreement, that buys its ready-to-use robo vehicles. (Link to article)


Motto, a new French startup that plans to offer electric bikes in Paris, has raised a $4.4 million (€4 million) seed round led by Cassius Family and Founders Future. Several business angels are also participating. Before rebranding to Motto, the startup was originally called Bloom, and 200 users tested the service in Paris already. (Link to article)

Vehicle Connectivity:, an in-car retail marketplace provider, raised $1.7M in Seed funding. is an in-car retail marketplace that facilitates convenient in-car commerce in any 4G-integrated vehicle. It allows payments, connecting the car’s interface and data to retailers’ and service providers’ e-commerce platforms, while taking into account inventory as well as the driver’s location, route, destination, order and payment preferences, and loyalty program memberships. (Link to article)

Media & Lifestyle:

Congratulations to Paul J Daly, Kyle Mountsier and the entire ASOTU team on becoming the only dealer-owned media publisher in auto history. Investors include: Liza Borches, Brian Benstock, David Long, Damon Lester, Brian Kramer, Patrick Abad and Scott Simons. (Link to article)

Vehicle Assembly, Supply Chain & Logistics:

Plastic Omnium reached a deal to buy ams OSRAM’s automotive-lighting business for 65 million euros ($72 million), a move aimed at supporting the French firm’s push into new market segments. (Link to article)REPOWR has raised a $4.2 million seed round. Koch Disruptive Technologies led the round with additional participation from Perot Jain, Plug and Play Tech Center, and other strategic angel investors. (Link to article)

Air Mobility & Space:

As the use of aircraft like drones, electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles and uncrewed aerial vehicles take off, Japanese startup Terra Drone Corporation wants to make sure trafficking the skies doesn’t get overlooked. Founded in 2016, Terra Drone develops drone software, hardware and uncrewed aircraft system traffic management solutions. The company has closed a $70 million (8 billion JPY) Series B round led by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Link to article)