The next startups aim to influence transportation. AdasWorks is making cars more smart, Rightware enabling better user experiences while driving and unu creating the mobility solution so that all people are enabled to embrace the full potential of urban life. Take a look and familiarize yourself with these fascinating startups attending Slush.
AdasWorks is a software toolkit fusing multiple car sensors, GPS and map data with computer vision in order to create advanced driver assistance. Germany-based startup provides an integrated software environment running on next-generation application processors, which are able to handle all Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) cost-effectively. AdasWorks wants to revolutionize the automotive industry with the focus on automotive computer vision, artificial intelligence and navigation technologies. When asked where the idea for the business came, Laszlo Kishonti, founder and CEO at AdasWorks tells that “After seeing how fast mobile devices and performance have been developing, my idea was that the next smart device will be the car. So around five years ago we started to set up automotive related research groups for navigation, computer vision and artificial intelligence.” In 2014 AdasWorks developed a self-driving prototype car and started raising fund.
On July this year, AdasWorks announced a closing of $2.5M Series A round. “With the help of the first investment round, we have grown our team to 35 people and achieved to sign contracts with leading automotive companies. In order to successfully complete these projects and grab further possibilities, we need to grow faster: we would like to hire talented hardware and software engineers, programmers, AI researchers, project managers” says Kishonti. AdasWorks participated in Slush 100 pitching competition last year, and Kishonti tells that some of the investors they met turned out to be their Series A VCs. “We are excited to come back this year! Now we are pitching at the Growth Stage Showcase and would like to raise funds for our Series B investment. We hope to receive feedback on our ideas, meet potential investors again and of course enjoy all the amazing networking opportunities.” says Kishonti.
Rightware, a car UI software maker, was founded in 2009 by people from the gaming and mobile industries with the idea of creating beautiful graphical user interfaces for smartphones. They were soon contacted by Audi who was looking for a partner for prototyping and defining the future of digital graphics inside the car. Nowadays Rightware is the market leader in advanced user interface technology, serving automotive and other embedded industries with its Kanzi® solution for rapid user interface design and deployment. Wired also named the company one of 100 hottest European startups this year. “Our tool is revolutionizing the way automotive companies create user interface software. Instead of creating mockups and sending them off to engineers to implement, graphical designers can use our tool and create working user interfaces with beautiful graphics that can instantly be run on an automotive computer”, tells Jonas Geust, CEO at Rightware.
Recently Rightware announced a collaboration with Nissan. They will design a digital infotainment concept for the Nissan Gripz concept car. Also Audi uses Rightware Kanzi for the design and engineering of its HMIs in some of its cars. Geust says that they will continue to focus on the automotive industry, but also keep their eyes open for the new possibilities, as they already have customers in other industries as well. “During the past weekend, we had the opportunity of participating the Ultrahack hackathon, where our Kanzi software was used in the Mobility-as-a-Service track for creating next-generation mobility dashboards. We’re looking forward to seeing the Ultrahack winners pitch at Slush!” says Geust.
unu’s co-founders started the company to change urban mobility, which is expensive, complicated, slow and polluting, and therefore limiting the way people can experience their city. The first product of unu is an electric scooter that wants to change how people are getting from a to b. It is emission-free, affordable (half the price of competitors) and also independent from fuel pumps or charging stations. unu’s co-founders Pascal Blum and Elias Atahi are both German and did their studies in Asia, where they were strongly fascinated by megacities. They collaborated to design and develop urban mobility that makes electromobility simple and affordable for everyone, which reduces the burdens in cities caused by traffic, exhaust gases and the scarcity of parking spaces. unu’s business model makes e-mobility stylish & affordable; each scooter is manufactured on demand, can be customised through their online shopping experience and is delivered directly to the final customer, “ready to ride” including helmet and registration plate.
The product and brand was launched in Summer 2014, and for the first year unu has focused on sales growth in the German-speaking markets to build their robust foundation. Their next aims are to scale the brand abroad, expanding into several new markets in 2016 and targeting to launch in select major urban hubs. “On the long-term, we do see that urban mobility will not only be disrupted by e-mobility but also mobility-as-a-service and autonomous driving, so we can only tell you that we have extremely exciting projects in the pipeline, which we cannot publicly announce yet”, tells Pascal Blum, co-founder and CEO at unu. unu is attending Slush for the first time this year, and Blum says that: “We already have heard a lot about the great atmosphere, exciting people & unique opportunities at this conference. So as long-time fans of the Nordic’s culture, design & hospitality, we are really looking forward to this conference and hope that this will be the start of the tradition.”