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.
First up this week, Spiffy, the on-demand car-servicing startup, has raised $22 million dollars in a Series B round, led by Tribeca Venture Partners, and included several industry partners, such as the investment arms of both Goodyear and Shell.
Local investors bull city venture partners also invested in the company.
Founded in 2014 by former Channel Advisor CEO Scot Wingo, Spiffy initially focused on providing mobile car washes to customers.
OEConnection, the North American automotive industry’s largest technology provider for OEM distribution networks, has acquired Verifacts Automotive.
Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
OEConnection’s business has a heavy focus on OEM parts. The company serves more than 135,000 repairers and 30,000 dealerships worldwide, as well as 37 automotive brands.
Verifacts Automotive provides collision repair process consulting services across North America. The company helps collision repair facilities achieve OEM certifications, and provides assurance to OEMs that their repair facilities are being followed in their certified networks.
The CapStreet Group has completed the majority recapitalization of Credit Bureau Connection, in partnership with the founder and other shareholders.
Credit Bureau Connection offers credit report and compliance solutions to the automotive and general consumer finance industries across the united states.
The company optimizes and automates the consumer finance qualification process through a fast, easy-to-use, and secure software platform accessible to end-users directly, or via standard API protocols made available to its extensive network of software affiliate partners.
AirGarage has closed a $12.5 million dollar Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing investors Floodgate, Founders Fund, and Abstract Ventures.
AirGarage works with parking real estate owners and offers a full-stack software and management service for their lot or garage. That means handling everything from installing signage to collecting payments and even providing parking enforcement.
AirGarage already has more than 200 locations across 30 states under its management.
The company’s undergone a number of pivots since its founding in 2017. The original instantiation of AirGarage was to create a platform for people to rent out their driveways to college students who were paying exorbitant fees for on-campus parking.
Claim Genius, a global insurtech provider of AI-based claims solutions for the automotive industry, closed a $6 million dollar Series A3 funding round, following its earlier funding of $7.8 million dollars; now totaling $14.8 million dollars to date.
The latest round is backed by investors including Malaysia-based Financial Link group and Siri InfoSolutions.
Claim Genius continues to grow its services globally with live customers in four countries. Its AI computer vision technology is sought after throughout the global automotive industry ecosystem, such as insurance companies, repair facilities, recycling, salvage, towing, and leasing companies in North America and internationally.
Dellfer, an automotive and IoT cybersecurity software company, announced an $8 million dollar Series A investment from mobility supplier Denso and specialist cybersecurity private equity firm Option3.
The three companies noted that the automotive industry and other IoT environments increasingly require cybersecurity solutions to protect potential vulnerabilities.
With a specialty in cybersecurity for the automotive industry, Dellfer delivers a holistic solution providing high-level visibility and granular, actionable insights to thwart intrusions in automobiles.
Today’s new cars contain up to 100 electronic control units and 100 to 150 million lines of software code.
Global cybercrimes are estimated to reach $6 trillion dollars by the end of 2021 and continue to grow 15% annually, reaching $10 trillion dollars by 2025.
Beekman Investment Partners has completed an investment in dealership DMS company AutoManager to recapitalize the company.
Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
California-based AutoManager was founded in 1987 and is a provider of DMS and website builder tools to independent auto dealers in North America, providing a range of software modules used for managing dealerships such as inventory management, finance, and insurance, buy here pay here, CRM, and accounting, as well as website and digital marketing solutions.
In international news this week, Israeli startup Tactile-Mobility announced a $27 million dollar Series C raise which it will use to further develop its virtual sensors, expand its product offerings and bolster its cloud platform.
The funding round, which brings Tactile-Mobility’s total funding to $47 million dollars, was led by Delek Motors, with strategic investment from Goodyear Ventures and Porsche Ventures and support from Union Group, and the group ventures.
Tactile-Mobility uses existing vehicle sensor data to enable cars to “feel” the road in a way that generates insights about both the vehicle and the road via its cloud platform.
Mapping the roads by measuring tire grip enables tactile to map things like potholes, cracks in the road, slipperiness, snowfall, and more. The insights can be gathered in real-time and downloaded to other vehicles roaming in a specific area, which might give drivers a heads-up to poor road conditions and improve safety. Analytics can also be shared via a report for third parties like mapping companies, road authorities, or fleet managers to identify areas of distress on the road.
And finally, FlixMobility, the $3 billion German transportation startup that has doubled down on long-distance buses and slowly and quietly gobbled up transit lines and operations across Europe, announced it is acquiring Greyhound Lines, the iconic U.S. bus network.
Flix said the deal — which includes a vehicle fleet, trademarks, and related assets and liabilities — has an enterprise value of $46 million dollars.
The deal signifies a huge move for Flix to double down not just on bus transport, but the U.S. market, where it was already active but with a significantly smaller profile.
FlixBus, as the service is known, is today active in more than 2,500 destinations in 36 countries outside the U.S., working across 400,000 daily connections.
Greyhound Lines is actually nearly as big: it covers 2,400 destinations in North America, with almost 16 million passengers annually.
Company 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 5 to share some of those companies each week with you.
Today, our company to watch is Auto Integrate, an innovative company that plays in the fleet maintenance space.
Auto Integrate is a fleet maintenance authorization tool that lets businesses and suppliers securely manage their maintenance authorization transactions. The system allows for faster submissions, reviews, approvals, and payments of all maintenance transactions.
Developed specifically for the North American fleet management service industry, auto integrate is a cloud-based vehicle maintenance software that helps streamline transactional workflows.
The Auto Integrate platform also covers critical stages in the typical life cycle of a fleet vehicle, including vehicle service; truck authorization and vehicle acquisition; maintenance authorization; and downtime management.
Once work has been completed, the electronic audit of authority allows for a smooth billing process, reducing the risk of duplicate orders and minimizing time spent chasing outstanding requests.
Built to work with a fleet’s entire vehicle portfolio, Auto Integrate has serviced more than 25.7 million transactions.
Auto Integrate has an extensive vendor network, with over 76,000 shops enrolled. They also service over 5.1 million vehicles.
Auto Integrate is a company to keep an eye on in the fleet management software space.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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