German driverless truck startup raises $50m

German driverless truck startup raises $50m

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

German driverless truck startup Fernride has closed a further $19M in its Series A funding, bringing the total to $50m.

Fernride was founded by Hendrik Kramer, Maximilian Fisser, and Jean-Michael Georg for driverless truck technology, and currently has over 130 employees working in offices located in Munich and Wolfsburg. It is starting with remotely operated vehicles that can be used in all types of complex environment such as ports and logistics hubs before moving to full autonomy.

“By starting with teleoperations that initially keeps a human in the loop, we believe Fernride’s step-by-step approach is the optimal path towards building fully autonomous capabilities,” said Timur Davis, Director at Munich Re Ventures. “Fernride has already demonstrated its ability to partner with key players in the industry and is positioned to rapidly build on its unique strengths and capabilities to succeed where others in the market have fallen short.”

It is working with Volkswagen, German logistics firm HHLA and investor DB Schenker. It is also working with Bosch, Fraunhofer and Leoni on the European ATLAS-L4 project for autonomous level 4 trucks on the road.

The investment comes as startup Stack AV from the founders of raised $1bn for autonomous truck technology in the US. Fernride also includes staff from after it was closed

New investors include Germany’s Deep Tech and Climate Funds (DTCF), a $1BN venture fund financed via Germany’s “Future Funds” and the ERP special fund and created to drive the growth of deep tech and climate companies in Germany and Europe, alongside San Francisco-based Munich Re Ventures, Bayern Kapital, and Klaus Kleinfeld, who also assumes the key role of Chairman. Existing investors are 10x Founders, Promus Ventures, Fly Ventures, Speedinvest, and Push Ventures, along with corporate investors HHLA Next, DB Schenker via Schenker Ventures, and Krone.

“By closing our Series A at $50M, we have established an investor base consisting of multiple corporates and large venture funds that can provide us many key strategic advantages along the value chain, as well as fund our ambitious growth plans to build the global category leader for autonomous, electric trucking, “ said Hendrik Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Fernride.

Dr. Elisabeth Schrey of DTCF adds: “FERNRIDE has assembled an exceptional team within the industry and has the potential to develop into a leading global technology champion from Germany. FERNRIDE’s use of pioneering technologies that automate and decarbonize the supply chain fits very well into the Deep Tech and Climate Fonds investment focus.”

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