Friday, July 21, 2017

Greylock’s Reid Hoffman and SoftBank are leading a $159 million round into a driverless-car tech startup

From recode:

Greylock’s Reid Hoffman and SoftBank’s Shu Nyatta will join Nauto’s board as part of the investment.
Greylock Partners and SoftBank are leading a $159 series B round into auto-tech startup Nauto. As part of the investment, Greylock partner and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman as well as SoftBank partner Shu Nyatta will be joining the board. 

While Nauto is currently primarily focused on making professional drivers safer with its aftermarket device that uses an inward-facing camera to detect things like distracted driving, the company has already started working with its automaker partners to begin developing the deep-learning algorithms that will enable the cars to drive autonomously. 

The company wouldn’t go into much detail about exactly what that development effort with the automakers entailed. 

However, some of the automaker partners include Nauto’s previous investors — that have also participated in this round — General Motors Ventures, BMW iVentures, Toyota AI Ventures and a few others, Nauto CEO Stefan Heck told Recode. Andy Rubin’s Playground Global also previously led a $12 million round into the company. 

In partnership with Nauto, these companies will use the driver behavior, accident, road and safety data that the devices — which have been deployed in “dozens of fleets” and some of the automakers’ development cars or car-sharing fleets — are collecting to eventually inform the autonomous system....MORE