This battery tech startup raised $12M and Optibus acquires a SaaS provider to expand in North America

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. 

Coreshell Technologies

First up this week, battery technology startup Coreshell Technologies recently raised $12 million dollars in a Series A round led by Trousdale Ventures, Industry Ventures, and Helios Capital Ventures. Existing investors Entrada Ventures, Foothill Ventures and Asymmetry Ventures also participated in the round.

Coreshell has raised $19 million dollars to date.

Coreshell, founded in 2017, has steered clear of trying to develop a new battery from scratch, an expensive and lengthy undertaking that numerous companies were already working on. Instead, they focused their efforts on nanolayer coating technology that can be added to a battery cell manufacturer’s existing production system.

This coating increases usable battery capacity by 30% or more and increases heat tolerance by 200%, all while lowering costs and improving safety. It can also be applied to batteries with different chemistries and applications, including consumer electronics and electric vehicles.


Next up this week, NODAR, the leading provider of long-range 3D vision technology, has secured $12 million dollars in Series A funding led by NEA with participation from existing investor Rhapsody Venture Partners.

NODAR’s long-range, high-resolution, real-time camera-based software is a crucial safety component in the development of driver-assisted and fully autonomous vehicles, bringing advanced performance at a competitive price point to the mainstream vehicle market.

Optibus & Trillium

And finally this week, Optibus, which has developed a cloud-native AI platform for planning and operating mass transportation, is acquiring Trillium for several million dollars.

Trillium is a SaaS provider helping transit operators and agencies keep riders informed.

Trillium, founded in 2007, helps improve passenger communication, allowing the industry to publish, schedule, and real-time service data in a format consumable by apps including Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Founded in 2014, Optibus currently operates in over 1,000 cities, including in New York, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Brasilia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

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: CarmaCare and Cinch.


CarmaCare is subscription-based healthcare for your car. Say goodbye to surprise out-of-pocket repair expenses with CarmaCare.

CarmaCare provides best-in-class subscription-based healthcare for your car coverage plan. They cover mechanical breakdown repair costs and give you peace of mind on the road.

Check out CarmaCare at 


Cinch’s Marketing Enablement Software is creating a more personal relationship between businesses and people by closing the data gap, designing actionable outcomes, and fulfilling meaningful and specific customer communication through the orchestration of marketing automation software and a customer data platform – all in one solution.

Check out Cinch at


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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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.

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