The year 5781 is starting off strong for Startup Nation.
Aurora Labs, an Israeli startup that develops remote software management, remote diagnostics, and over-the-air (OTA) updates for the automotive and IoT industries, has raised $23 million in a Series B round of funding. LG Technology Ventures, the investment arm of the LG Group, Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho, a member of Toyota Group, and UL Ventures all took part in the investment round.
5781 is starting off strong for Startup Nation. Raising such sums in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic gives some hope for the coming years, especially as Israelis are forced to suffer through a Corona shutdown marred holiday season.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Zohar Fox and COO Ori Lederman, Aurora Labs previously raised $11.1 million from investors including Fraser McCombs Capital and MizMaa Ventures.
Everything is getting more and more technological. Smart self-driving cars are coming and automakers are all adding new computer systems to their vehicles. These systems will allow travelers to operate their cars more efficiently, just like you have seen in sci-fi movies. But such tech comes with risks like hacking.
Imagine riding in your fully automated car only to see it taken over by some nutcase. It would kind of be like that movie “Speed” where Keanu Reeves had to save a bunch of people trapped on a bus rigged with explosives. This is where Aurora Labs steps in. The company also makes it easier for car manufacturers to automatically update the software utilized by their vehicles.
— Aurora Labs (@TheAuroraLabs) September 22, 2020
Aurora Labs expects the current number of vehicles on the road that use such technology to triple in the next ten years.
“This cross-industry commitment from investors is evidence of the need to continuously improve the quality of software, keep it safe, secure and updated in all devices, with particular emphasis on vehicles as the car becomes electrified and connected and the amount of vehicle software grows exponentially,” said Zohar Fox, Aurora Labs’ Co-founder and CEO. “As auto manufacturers plan for the new regulations in the UNECE WP.29 document and all manufacturers prioritize software in their product development, Aurora Labs becomes a strategic partner helping manufacturers differentiate and update their vehicles and devices and create recurring revenue streams, going beyond what Tesla has already demonstrated.”
According to Anshul Agarwal, Managing Director of LG Technology Ventures, “We led this round of investment because LG Technology Ventures realize the huge potential of companies focusing on software quality, safety and security. The Aurora Labs’ team has proven that its innovative and cost-effective approach to remote software management has a unique proposition enabling self-healing devices. Manufacturers of all types of devices need a proven solution that ensures devices are running 24×7, can be remotely monitored and updated in a predictive manner and continuously offer new user experiences.”
“As the world becomes more connected and edge computing more complex, we need advanced, predictive security solutions to keep us all safe. Aurora Labs’ Self-Healing Software with its unique and proven OTA capabilities, backed with very solid IP, has great potential for the advanced automotive industry and for IoT applications,” said Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ophir Shoham who co-led the round on behalf of Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies.
“In the future software will be the major differentiating factor in cars and efficient software updates will play an increasingly important role. Through our investment in Aurora Labs, we extend our venture portfolio by an investment in a market with strong growth potential,” said Lutz Meschke, member of the board of management of Porsche SE. “Porsche SE expects such services to become increasingly relevant for automotive manufacturers such as the Volkswagen Group.”
“The automotive industry is going through a great transition, which comes with great opportunity. We find great opportunities in Aurora Labs. With the recent adoption of the UNECE WP.29 regulation for over-the-air updates, which goes into effect in Japan in 2021, Toyota Tsusho will work with Aurora Labs to reduce the costs of updates to the entire vehicle and to validate changes in the lines-of-code for our vehicles to remain compliant as over-the-air updates are delivered to cars,” said Mr. Mitsuhiro Tsubakimoto, CEO for Chemicals & Electronics Division from Toyota Tsusho.
“Transparency and robust remote software management are on top of the minds of automotive and IoT companies as their software platforms become more complex, more connected and more agile. To help ensure safety in dynamic systems, vehicle type approval and certification processes will need to be streamlined and consistent across the industry. Aurora Labs’ unique ability to create, manage and monitor a digital record of all certified updates and functionalities will be a critical building block ensuring digital compliance to the industry standards and the safety of drivers and passengers. Safety and sustainability have been at the core of UL since 1894 and we understand that protecting people is what drives trust and, ultimately, the success of new products and services. In this sentiment, UL and Aurora Labs have a shared vision,” said Chris Park, investment director of UL Ventures.