Mobility software startup Apex.ai calls on supplier giants Continental and ZF as investors – TechCrunch
The four years Apex.ai spent rewriting – and then certifying the safety – of the robot’s operating system to give automakers and other mobility companies a toolkit for integrating software applications into vehicles have focused their fruits.
The startup founded by Bosch veterans and automated systems engineers Jan Becker and Dejan Pangercic has attracted a number of new strategic and private investors, including suppliers Continental and ZF as part of a Series B fundraiser from $ 56.5 million led by Orillion. AGCO, Canaan, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Airbus Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover InMotion Ventures and others participated in the round. Apex has raised a total of $ 74 million to date, a figure that includes previously announced investments from Volvo Group Venture Capital, Toyota Ventures and HELLA Ventures. In particular, ZF takes a 5% stake in Apex.
Investor appetite for companies like Apex has grown as the development of self-driving vehicles has grown and the auto industry has sought to build so-called “software-defined” vehicles capable of delivering digital services. drivers and passengers and able to update software wirelessly. – like a smartphone. As vehicles have become more complex, the demand for a certified safety software development kit increases. At least that’s what Apex and its many investors are betting on.
“Apex.AI has captured a single market by making it easier for manufacturers to implement security-critical software in mobility systems,” said Ahmed Sallam, partner at Orillion, who is also joining the board. “We have also invested in Apex.AI because we see significant potential to expand the market for their operating system beyond the automotive industry and into other markets such as agriculture, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT). “
Apex.ai has been dedicated to giving automakers and mobility companies a way to seamlessly and securely integrate software applications into vehicles. The startup, which has offices in Palo Alto, Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich, Germany, has developed two products. Apex.OS is a software development kit for autonomous driving software and other safety-critical mobility applications. Apex.OS received certification earlier this year by TÜV NORD for functional safety according to the highest level of ISO 26262. This means that the software is verified for use in production vehicles, which expands the market potential for Apex.ai.
More recently, the company worked on an enterprise middleware product, called Apex.middleware, which integrates various protocols to improve communication between software applications.
The new capital will be used to increase Apex in almost any way possible. Becker told TechCrunch that the company plans to double its workforce from around 70 today to 140 by the end of next year, expand into Asia, and market its existing products and develop new ones. new in fields adjacent to the automotive industry including agriculture, mining, industrial automation. and Internet of Things (IoT). Former Panasonic executive Tavis Szeto will lead the expansion in Asia.