Work Truck Solutions Raises $5 Million to Expand Service Offerings to Work Truck Dealers, Body Manufacturers and Distributors

Work Truck Solutions announced today it has completed a Series B Preferred Stock financing round of $5 million. The company is the industry leader in the commercial truck inventory solutions market. Kathryn Schifferle, CEO and founder of Work Truck Solutions, stated that the company will use this new round of funding to accelerate expansion of […]

Autotech Ventures Sees Itself as Talent Scout for Auto Startups

AutoTech Ventures LLC wants to be the talent scout for startups reinventing ground transportation. The venture capital firm, based in Palo Alto, California, has raised about $75 million to bankroll early-stage technologies enabling autonomous driving, improved cybersecurity in cars, entertainment systems and other automotive next big things.

Auto-parts makers and component suppliers, including Denso Corp., Mahle GmbH. and Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., were among the investors in the firm, founded last year. As limited partners, they’ll get a share of AutoTech Ventures’ returns. “We aren’t in it for financial return — it’s all strategic,” said Tony Cannestra, director of corporate venture at Japan-based automotive components company Denso. He said the number of tech startups in transportation has more than doubled since he began investing in such companies almost five years ago, making it harder to hone in on the potential winners.

The future of mobility

As Detroit rebounds from bankruptcy, the local community is once again looking to transportation technology for economic development. With the number of automotive corporations in the region, Detroit and its surrounding communities are well-suited to supporting transportation startups.

Autotech Ventures is excited to start working with Michigan corporations, startups, and universities to create a support ecosystem for transportation startups in the Detroit region. Bill Ford, the executive chairman and former CEO of Ford, took the stage at the TED Conference in 2011, and gave a speech that did not make waves at the time, but was surprisingly prescient in retrospect. As if he was channeling Uber’s Travis Kalanick, the great-grandson of Henry Ford discussed how the future of transportation is really about the beginning of the end of traditional car ownership.

“When you factor in population growth, it’s clear that the mobility model that we have today simply will not work tomorrow,” Ford said. “Frankly, four billion clean cars on the road are still four billion cars, and a traffic jam with no emissions is still a traffic jam.”