Israeli autotech company Aurora Labs Ltd. announced on Tuesday that it completed a $23 million series B financing round. The round was led by Check Point co-founder Marius Nacht and LG Technology Ventures, LG Electronics’ investment arm. Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Toyota Tsusho, UL Ventures, the investment arm of global safety standards Company UL, and previous round backers participated in the oversubscribed round.
Aurora Labs, which develops debugging tools for automotive software was founded in 2016 by Zohar Fox (CEO) and Ori Lederman (COO). It currently employs 30 people and is actively recruiting with the goal of reaching 55 employees by 2021. It has offices in Tel Aviv, Germany, Boston, and Detroit.
“We have built an infrastructure that enables remote work on the system despite our frequent interaction with hardware. There is global recognition that remote work is a necessary requirement and that’s what we provide,” Zohar said in an interview with Calcalist.
Fox stresses that though there exist other remote software update systems Aurora Labs provides a significant change. “We are shifting from changes on the application level to changes in the line of code level, which produces the fastest and most effective changes. A second round will enable us to expand from the car industry to the larger world of IoT devices. We are already at the product stage with five paying clients around the world, four of them auto companies and one leading electronics device manufacturer,” Fox said. He couldn’t divulge the names of the clients, but it is estimated that some of its investors are also among its clients. “The average vehicle nowadays has hundreds of computer components that require updates and we reduce their cost of updating significantly,” he said.
The current $23 million financing round follows a previous $11.1 million round led by Fraser McCombs Capital (FMC) and MizMaa Ventures. The current announcement follows a recent one by Porsche SE of a $2.5 million investment in Aurora Labs and the embedding of its technology in mass production over the next two years.
Aurora Labs developed technology that alters the way car manufacturers, software providers, and silicon producers manage, analyze, and update their software via mobile interface. The company’s solutions enable them to collect realtime data and produce deep insights into the code’s behavior. Its machine learning-based technology is able to detect and predict software errors and perform system updates to the entire car with zero downtime.
Recently passed global regulations (UNECE WP.29) demands the ability to secure software updates and detect them among millions of lines of code that already exist in vehicle software. With the number of lines of code predicted to triple by 2030, compliance with regulation demands that manufacturers possess a deep understanding of their software’s behavior and enable them to present the required data and evidence.
“As the world grows more connected and the end-user computing grows more complicated, we require advanced and predictable security solutions to keep us safe. Aurora Labs’ self-healing software, with its unique, proven and strong IP-based over-the-airway (OTA) capabilities, is potentially vital for the advanced auto industry and IoT applications,” said Ophir Shoham, who led the round on behalf of Nacht.
“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 add a company to our portfolio in a market with strong growth potential,” said Lutz Meschke a member of Porsche SE’s board. “Porsche SE expects such services to become increasingly relevant for automotive manufacturers such as the Volkswagen Group.”
“The automotive industry is undergoing a major revolution that creates opportunities for many companies. Aurora Labs provides a solution to those opportunities. With the adoption of UNECE WP.29 regulations for OTA software updates that will begin impacting the industry in Japan in 2021, Toyota Tsusho will collaborate with Aurora Labs in order to reduce the cost of updates and validate the code changes in our vehicles,” said Mitsuhiro Tsubakimoto, CEO for Toyota Tsusho’s Chemicals & Electronics Division.