Berlin-based German Autolabs, which is developing a digital co-driver, has raised two million euros in funding. The investors included Target Partners.
Berlin/Munich (Germany), November 2, 2016: – German Autolabs (http://germanautolabs.com), a Berlin-based startup, is developing a digital co-driver for a safer, more entertaining driving experience in the era of messaging and apps. Thanks to a sophisticated AI solution built around the needs of drivers, the product makes smartphone services accessible through speech and gestures; drivers won’t even need to touch their phones. Founders Holger G. Weiss (former CEO of Aupeo) and Patrick Weissert (former Director Consumer at HERE) secured funding of 2 million euros from German technology investor Target Partners (www.targetpartners.de) and various business angels.
“Self-driving cars are gradually becoming a reality. But until we’re able to lean back and let our cars do all the work, we’ve got to empower drivers to use digital technology without the danger of being distracted. In 2012 more than 430,000 crashes in the US were caused by distracted driving according to AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index. Only an intelligent software solution equipped with state-of-the-art speech recognition technology will allow drivers to benefit from apps and content, turning each car into a connected car. We are delighted to team up with a tech VC as experienced as Target Partners – this will enable us to accelerate product development and market launch.”
Holger Weiss, CEO of German Autolabs
“German Autolabs wants to bring digital life to any driver and any car. This is a huge market – with over 500 million cars in North America and Europe alone. Holger Weiss is one of the most experienced entrepreneurs in the field of connected mobility, while Patrick Weissert is a thought leader in developing digital consumer products. We are happy to support this first-rate founder duo as investors.”
Berthold von Freyberg, Partner at Target Partners
Digital Co-Driver Turns Every Car into a Connected Car
Whether it’s at the traffic light, in slow-moving traffic or even while driving: reaching for your smartphone to check your messages quickly or replying to an email is part of the daily experience of many drivers. German Autolabs is working on a solution that allows drivers to use apps and services intuitively—in any car, independent of its age or manufacturer. The digital co-driver takes care of any task it is told to do, communicating with the driver when needed. This allows drivers to keep their hands where they are most needed: at the wheel.
The two founders have put together an interdisciplinary team of experienced developers, UX/UI designers, product managers and product designers to connect human models of interaction with AI. This will bring the digital world into cars with no loss of safety.
“Intelligent, semantic speech recognition is the key that will make our cars part of our digital lives. Thanks to Amazon’s Alexa, Ok Google, and Siri we are used to operating digital services through speech. Our product is a digital co-driver that—like GPS navigation ten years ago—will soon be indispensable to any driver.”
Patrick Weissert, Chief Product Officer at German Autolabs
The digital co-driver will be developed and manufactured in Germany. Launch for consumers is projected for 2017.
+++ BACKGROUND INFORMATION +++
Holger G. Weiss – founder & CEO German Autolabs
Holger G. Weiss is founder and CEO of German Autolabs. He has over 15 years of experience managing and building technology-driven companies with innovative business models in the Future Mobility sector. He has extensive experience and expertise in the field of connected mobility. He played a vital role in the navigation software startup gate5 in Berlin, from its genesis up to its acquisition by Nokia in 2006. Gate5 was the forerunner for HERE – a map and content provider recently bought by three German car makers at a price of close to three billion Euros.
Before founding German Autolabs, Holger G. Weiss was managing director and CEO of Aupeo. Under his leadership, this music streaming startup developed into one of the leading providers of internet-based audio content for the Automotive Industry. In 2013 Aupeo was acquired by Panasonic Automotive Systems of North America.
Holger G. Weiss is a board member at various technology companies and also a Venture Partner at Target Partners – one of the leading tech VC firms in Europe. Besides his business activities he is also an enthusiastic mentor and business angel for young aspiring founders.
Patrick Weissert – founder & CPO German Autolabs
Patrick Weissert is founder and Chief Product Officer (CPO) of German Autolabs. He has over 15 years of experience developing digital consumer products. Before founding German Autolabs he was Consumer Director of the hugely successful map and navigation provider HERE. In this position, he was in charge of the worldwide digital consumer business with over 25 million users per month. Patrick Weissert was responsible for the whole product life cycle – from product development to distribution, partnering and monetization as well as the growth and revenue targets for this business sector. At HERE he led a 100-strong team of developers, product managers and designers plus marketing, partnering, and monetization experts.
Prior to working at HERE, Patrick Weissert held various managerial positions at Vodafone in the fields of global product development and business strategy. Most recently he functioned as VP Marketing & COO of Wayfinder Systems (Vodafone location service). In his position, he was in charge of the operational management of the subsidiary and was also responsible for product development and management. Over the course of his career Patrick Weissert has founded two startups and is a mentor of Startup Bootcamp.
About German Autolabs
German Autolabs is a technology startup developing IoT (internet-of-things) solutions to make driving more pleasant, safer and human. Applying latest state of the art software technologies, interaction methods and artificial intelligence, the Berlin-based company works at a solution for consumers to connect their digital lives to every car. The founders Holger G. Weiss (former CEO, Aupeo) and Patrick Weissert (former Director Consumer, HERE) rely together on 30+ years on Automotive & Connected Car experience. For more information, please visit http://germanautolabs.com.
About Target Partners
With €300 million under management, Target Partners is one of the leading early-stage venture capital firms in Germany. Target Partners invests in start-up and early-stage companies and supports them with venture capital during their build-out and expansion phases. With many years of experience as managers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, the team at Target Partners supports entrepreneurs in developing and marketing products and services, building organizations, raising money and taking companies public in Europe and the United States.
For more details: www.targetpartners.de, follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/targetpartners or Facebook: facebook.com/targetpartners.