Porsche, Toyota increase stake in Aurora Labs

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

LG Technology Ventures, the investment division of LG Group, and Marius Nacht, co-founder of Checkpoint Software Technologies, jointly led the round. In addition to existing investors, Porsche SE, which holds a majority stake in the VW Group with its brands Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and SEAT, participated in the financing round. Porsche SE had recently announced its $2.5 million investment in Aurora Labs and its plans to bring the company’s solution into serial production within the next two years.

Toyota Tsusho, representing Toyota Motor Corporation, and the international safety certification organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL) were also part of the Series B financing for the Israeli start-up company. The $23 million investment complements the existing $11.1 million financing.

“The cross-industry commitment of investors demonstrates the need to continuously improve software quality and keep it safe and up-to-date on all devices. This is especially true for vehicles, as the volume of software code continues to increase due to increased networking,” said Zohar Fox, co-founder and CEO of Aurora Labs. “Car manufacturers are also gearing up to implement the new UNECE WP.29 regulations. At the same time, technology and electronics manufacturers are attaching increasing importance to software in their product development”.

Aurora Labs offers itself to car manufacturers as a strategic partner to keep the software of their vehicles up to date. In addition, says Fox, “the Aurora Labs solution can be used to create recurring revenue streams that go beyond what Tesla has demonstrated”.

Aurora Labs is considered one of the leading companies in the field of remote software maintenance and diagnostics and over-the-air updates for car manufacturers. The technology continuously collects data that enables a deep understanding of software behaviour. This reduces downtime and enables car manufacturers and suppliers to predict and resolve software problems.

Aurora Labs’ solution protects automotive software from errors and cyber attacks. In addition, the technology enables automotive manufacturers to continuously add new features to extend the life of their devices and improve the user experience. Artificial intelligence and machine learning play an important role in this.

New international regulations, such as those of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (UNECE WP.29), require traceability and security of software updates. This already affects hundreds of millions of lines of software code in cars, vans, trucks and buses. By 2030 the amount of software code in vehicles is expected to triple. The implementation of the regulations requires car manufacturers to have a comprehensive understanding of software behaviour in order to obtain the data and evidence necessary for vehicle certification.

“Software will be the major differentiating factor in the vehicle in the future and efficient software updates will play an increasingly important role. With our investment in Aurora Labs, we are expanding our investment portfolio with a company in a market with strong growth potential. At Porsche SE, we assume that solutions such as those offered by Aurora Labs will become increasingly important for automobile manufacturers such as the Volkswagen Group,” explains Lutz Meschke, member of the Board of Management of Porsche SE responsible for investment management.

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