Dealers' #1 source for auto industry news, content, coaching & analysis

SPAC mania hits a snag, looks for a merger, Snap-on Tools acquires Dealer-FX, and more

Welcome to another edition 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.

Let’s start off with an update on the health of the Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, market.

SPAC mania is showing signs of hitting a stock-market saturation point, with an index tracking blank-check companies suddenly down about 20% from its peak. Before the selloff, SPACs had almost doubled since October.

In a parallel plunge, the stocks of EV makers and suppliers are impacting investors who plowed billions into the sector this year in a bid to ride one of Wall Street’s hottest trends.

This has been painful for investors who poured almost $2 billion into electric car and battery-focused exchange-traded funds in 2021. Exchange-traded fund assets in the segment had swelled to a record $4.6 billion before the selloff.

But all of this hasn’t slowed the volume of SPACs hitting the market.

Global SPACs have surged to a record $170 billion dollars this year, already outstripping all of 2020s’ full-year total of $157 billion dollars.

There are a lot of SPACs out there looking for targets to buy, so I suspect we’re going to continue to hear about new ones on a weekly basis. 


This week, self-driving truck startup Plus is in advanced talks with a few SPACs for a merger, as it seeks to bankroll its expansion in the autonomous driving industry.

The Sequoia Capital-backed company has received several letters of intent from U.S.-listed SPACs and is weeks away from a deal announcement.

The SPACs range in size from $300 million to $500 million, and Plus is planning to set its valuation range later this month.


Swedish autonomous electric vehicle startup Einride is seeking $75 million dollars in new financing, while at the same time exploring the potential for a public listing through a SPAC.

Auto Technology deals


Big news this week, as Dealer-FX sold to Snap-on Tools for $200 million in cash.

Snap-on, the giant manufacturer of hand tools, shop equipment, diagnostic software and other service department products acquired the company from Private Equity firm HGGC.

Dealer-FX’s service lane software platform is used by dealerships selling brands from at least nine major manufacturers, including Stellantis, General Motors, Toyota and Hyundai.

Dealer-FX, which booked $37 million in revenue last year, is being absorbed by a company roughly 100 times bigger in terms of revenue. For 2020, Snap-on reported revenue of nearly $3.6 billion.

Dealer-FX was founded in 2007 with the goal of using software to improve communication between service department customers and dealerships, and also inside the service department to help make often opaque repair processes more transparent to customers.

Congratulations to the Dealer-FX team.

Digital Motors

Digital Motors announced a $10 million Series A funding round led by DN Capital, and is joined by several other high-profile investors, including Autotech Ventures and Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures.

Digital Motors also announced its expansion into Canada.

Congratulations goes out to Andy Hinrichs, Nick Stellman and the Digital Motors team!


EasyPark, a European-based parking technology company announced plans to acquire Atlanta-based ParkMobile.

ParkMobile, founded in 2008 and now deploying its technology in over 450 cities, had been part of PARK NOW, a joint venture between BMW Group and Daimler that brought together companies looking to address ride-sharing, charging, trip planning, and parking issues across the transportation and mobility space. The other PARK NOW Group companies, including RingGo, and Park-line, will also be part of the acquisition.

EasyPark currently operates in over 2,200 cities across 20 countries. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Earlier this month also EasyPark acquired Switzerland-based e24.

In international news,, the tech-enabled car-servicing platform that has created a better way to help car owners to book their car servicing and repair needs online, announced their first-ever seed funding round of $10 million led by Bahwan IT from Oman. The company has shown 200% growth within the first year of inception and is now looking at expansion into the GCC by the end of year.

Service My Car was launched in 2018 with the aim of digitizing a predominantly brick and mortar car servicing industry, and with the infusion of technology bring in more transparency, affordability and convenience to car owners.

Service My Car customers can book their car service online, have their car collected and delivered at a time and location convenient to them, and stay updated on their car’s progress throughout the repair stages. A thorough quality check led by a team of industry veterans ensures the highest level of quality standards. Additional to this, customers get market competitive prices on spare parts that all come with 12 month warranties.

Perrone Robotics

Perrone Robotics has received a $10 million equity investment from business incubator and investment group CapStone Holdings.

Perrone Robotics develops autonomous vehicle software and a retrofit kit they call TONY.

The company will use some of the investment to establish an advanced autonomous vehicle testing facility at the American Center for Mobility in Michigan, which will enable high-speed and continuous testing of autonomous transit vans, shuttles and other vehicles equipped with Perrone’s TONY product.

Car Capital Technologies

Car Capital Technologies has raised $5.4 million dollars as part of an effort to raise a total of more than $8 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The first sale of the funding effort came last month, the filing shows.

The company has a “vision to make the financing process easier” for auto dealers and consumers. Their unique process allows Car Capital to dial-in what the dealer has on their lot and make the vehicle purchase process easy for the consumer.

Congratulations to Justin Tisler, Brian Reed and the rest of the team at Car Capital Technologies.

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, our company to watch is PureInfluencer. PureInfluencer was founded in 2014 by automotive veteran Ron Morrison.

PureInfluencer is a conversion and sales-focused technology company, converting dealership website traffic to 1st-party leads with the highest close rate.

PureInfluencer delivers clear results to dealers who want a no-nonsense way to convert more of their website traffic to high-quality leads; leads that have the highest close rates in the dealers’ BDC.

The PureInfluencer MyOffer tool delivers more leads at higher conversion rates. Their MyTraffic tool helps dealers better understand their consumers.

The company really understands dealers, the challenges suffered by their BDC and sales teams, and delivers consistent results.

If you’re looking to convert a greater percentage of your website traffic into high-quality leads, think about checking out PureInfluencer.

So that’s your weekly Friday 5, 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 it with you at

Did you miss enjoy this week’s episode of The Friday 5? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.

Steve Greenfield
Steve Greenfield
Steve is the Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an automotive technology advisory firm that helps entrepreneurs raise money and maximize the value of their companies. They also assist PE firms to conduct due diligence on automotive technology acquisitions, advise technology CEOs on strategy, and help represent sellers at the time of sale.

Related Articles

Manufacturers In This Article

More Manufacturer News

Latest Articles

From our Publishing Partners