Welcome to this episode of The Friday 5 with Steve Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an auto technology advisory firm that helps entrepreneurs raise money and maximize the value of their companies.
Steve has been on the road traveling to visit dealerships across the country to support his new DealerFund, the goal of which is to help dealerships invest in early-stage automotive technology companies that help their businesses.
It’s been very valuable hearing from dealers about how they think the future will unfold, about the most important industry factors that will affect their dealerships and how we can work together to identify technology companies that address their biggest needs.
Steve plans on reporting back on some of his most important findings as he continues to traverse the country speaking with dealers about the new DealerFund.
And with that, let’s get right into this week’s AutoTech deals.
DealerBuilt & Vistadash
First up this week, DealerBuilt, an enterprise dealer management system provider for retail dealerships, announced the acquisition of Vistadash, a leading agnostic marketing intelligence platform that helps the automotive industry standardize digital metrics to create a fair baseline measurement of digital performance.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
DealerBuilt said that this acquisition signifies continued progress in its plans “to shape the future of automotive retail.”
Next up this week, Cavnue has raised $130 million of Series A capital investment, led by Ford Motor Company and Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners.
According to Cavnue, plans for the first “CAV Corridor” are moving forward in metro Detroit. Working with MDOT, Canue said they identified a 25-mile segment of I-94 between Detroit and Ann Arbor that could serve as the first highway for autonomous vehicles.
CAV lanes, according to the company, will provide a variety of benefits. The plan would be to have shuttles, that can bring people into areas, allow autonomous vehicles using the lanes to communicate with each other to move faster and more safely, but will also accommodate mixed traffic.
Next up this week, Group14 Technologies, a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced silicon-carbon technology for lithium-silicon batteries, has raised $400 million in Series C funding led by Porsche AG.
To deliver to customers including Porsche subsidiary CELLFORCE GROUP, Group14 plans to break ground on its second commercial-scale BAM factory in the U.S. to stay ahead of demand from markets reliant on high-performing batteries.
To meet fast-approaching targets worldwide for vehicle electrification and EV adoption, Group14’s next-generation materials help lithium-silicon batteries deliver 50% higher performance than traditional lithium-ion batteries, eliminating range and charge anxiety.
As automakers pledge to electrify fleets, OEMs are turning to lithium-silicon technologies, which are fully compatible with existing manufacturing facilities and processes, over other industry alternatives to bring premier performance and reach cost-parity with internal combustion engines.
And finally this week, PayByCar, the mobile payments startup responsible for providing pay-by-text payments at gas stations across Massachusetts, has announced the completion of a $4 million seed round of funding.
PayByCar allows customers with toll transponders like E-ZPass or PayByCar windshield stickers to perform contactless payments on gas purchases at participating locations from their mobile device, without ever having to touch the pump screen or use cash, credit cards, or mobile apps.
PayByCar users simply pay by confirming a text message when they drive into a participating location, without ever having to open their wallet or touch the fuel dispenser keypad. In addition to eliminating multiple points of touching public surfaces, the process also cuts transaction time in half.
Companies To Watch
So with that, Let’s Transition 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.
Today, we have two companies to watch: Carmigo and Turn Automotive
Our first Company to watch this week is Carmigo.
Carmigo is an online vehicle marketplace connecting individual sellers with dealers in a one-day auction.
Carmigo was founded through the frustration of consumers looking for a more transparent and convenient way to sell their vehicle, as well as seeing dealers look for a better source of inventory than traditional auctions.
Give Carmigo your VIN and they handle the rest. They come to you to inspect the vehicle, build your listing and post to their marketplace.
Once the vehicle sells for the price you want, they will handle all the paperwork, transportation and money transfer.
Dealers who participate have access to more cars, more information and can make better buying decisions.
Check out Carmigo at www.carmigo.io.
Our second company to watch this week is Turn Automotive.
Turn Automotive is a digital marketplace where all dealers can list, buy and sell inventory, get real-time trade appraisals, and even make offers on participating dealers’ front-line stock right from the same easy platform.
Turn Automotive helps to eliminate wholesale losses by providing rapid guaranteed offers for your trade appraisals. In fact, you’ll have an offer on every vehicle within 15 minutes.
Their system allows you to have the trade vehicle sold before you even own it; they call it “ Zero Day Turn”.
By pairing it with their all-day auctions, it allows sellers to gain the maximum value for their vehicle throughout the day while also providing buyers the option to bid without any time constraints.
Check out Turn Automotive at www.TurnAutomotive.com.
So that’s your weekly Friday 5, a quick wrap-up of the big deals in the automotive technology space over the past week.
If you’re an early-stage automotive technology entrepreneur looking to raise money, or an entrepreneur who is trying to decide whether and when they should raise money or sell their business, I’d love to speak with you.
Thank you for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Friday Five, and we’ll see you next week!
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