Updated: May 12, 2020
Carzaam Automotive News Episode 1: Deepscale - Bird - Mercedes
Tesla Acquires Deepscale
Hello everyone and welcome to Carzaam, we start today with news that Tesla has acquired computer vision startup DeepScale as it continues its push towards robotaxis.
DeepScale is a Silicon Valley startup that produces super accurate computer vision and will improve Teslas Autopilot driver assistance system and deliver on CEO Elon Musk’s vision of turning its electric vehicles into autonomous robotaxis.
A purchase price was not disclosed however the company had previously raised $3 million in seed and a further $15.6 million in Series A funding rounds. And given that Tesla has recently suffered losses in its own Autopilot team, this looks like a classic acquihire transaction.
Bird raises $275 million
Elsewhere, Scooter Startup Bird has completed a new $275 Million Funding Round led by Sequoia Capital that values the company at nearly $2.8 billion.
Bird has now raised more than $700 million in funding despite laying off 5% of its staff in March amid pressure over the viability of its business model.
Bird’s CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden acknowledged in the company’s funding announcement that the market had changed: “Gone are the days when top line growth was the leading KPI for emerging companies. Positive unit economics is the new goal line.”
This shift in sentiment has impacted tech IPOs from Uber to Lyft to Peloton, which have all seen falling stock prices since their market debuts.
For now, Bird has convinced investors to participate in this funding round but will have to do more with its new $275 million than just subsidize a money-losing business.
Mercedes-Benz India releases digital platforms
And lastly, Mercedes-Benz has announced a host of digital initiatives that promise to redefine the customer’s experience with the brand in India including a used car E-Commerce Platform & Connected Car Application.
As part of the global sales initiative “Best Customer Experience 4.0” the brand is digitizing the entire ‘Customer Experience’ in India and rolling out its connected car offerings, the ‘Mercedes me Adapter’ and ‘Mercedes Me Connect’.
Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director Martin Schwenk says the digital journey will now include the three key Phases of Exploration, Purchase, and Ownership to create an immersive luxury experience for customers.
At the same time, Mercedes-Benz India also launched the new e-commerce portal, which will have new cars as well as certified used cars available for booking, purchase and collection all online.
That’s all for Carzaam news for now, I’m Andrew Chilcott, make sure you connect with me on Social and ask Alexa to play your carzaam briefing each morning, see you soon.
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