Startup M&A in the Automotive and driverless segments

This week saw a number of interesting mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of startups in the automotive segments.

Autonomic Technologies Inc – Ford announced that it is buying Autonomic, a Palo Alto, Calif., startup with 70 employees for an undisclosed sum.  Autonomic is developing a software backbone for Ford to provide urban transit services to consumers and businesses. Ford said the firm’s CEO, Sunny Madra, will lead a new team inside Ford that will come up with ideas for new transit options. Sunny Madra confirmed this on a medium blog:

Today, we signed an agreement to become a fully owned subsidiary of Ford, bringing us a step closer toward our collective goals. This arrangement keeps Autonomic as a separate business entity operating under Ford, providing Autonomic both the stability and flexibility to continue its growth. Staying true to its transportation pioneering roots, Ford remains steadfast in supporting our vision of building an open platform for transportation providers and cities around the world. We are excited about the path ahead, and look forward to working with current and future business partners, including other automakers.

TransLoc Inc – Ford Motor Co announced on Thursday that it will buy transportation software startup. TransLoc, based in Durham, North Carolina provides software to help cities schedule and manage transit services. Ford announced:

As outlined at the 2018 CES show in Las Vegas, Ford’s mobility strategy is to deliver a broad suite of products and services that enhance all layers of the transportation system – vehicles, infrastructure, connectivity and digital services – to alleviate the transportation drag on cities and help people move more freely in the City of Tomorrow.

“We believe transportation done right – as part of a systems approach – can bring life back to our cities,” said Marcy Klevorn, president, Ford Mobility. “By accelerating our delivery of mobility services through the changes we are making today, we are enabling that revival, enhancing our competitiveness and creating long-term value for Ford shareholders.”


Parkmobile – European Auto giant BMW announced that it acquired Parkmobile, an app that allows users to pre-book and pay for parking spots. According to the company, Parkmobile, LLC is the leading provider of parking solutions in North America, helping millions of people easily find and pay for parking on their mobile device. The company’s technology is used in over 3,000 locations across the country, including seven of the top ten cities, as well as college campuses, airports and stadiums. Parkmobile was recently named by Deloitte as a Technology Fast 500 winner, recognising the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. The press release added:

“The BMW Group has always been on the forefront of disruptive mobility technology. Having access to new capital as well as the BMW Group’s global network of partners and customers puts us in an excellent position to accelerate our growth and expand further beyond North America. We could not imagine a better partner,” commented Jon Ziglar, CEO of Parkmobile, LLC.

Leave a Reply