MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Peloton Technology, a developer of vehicle systems that deliver advanced safety, fuel savings and analytics to trucking fleets, today announced the closing of a $16 million oversubscribed Series A investment round led by DENSO International America and Intel Capital. Financing from venture capital funds and industry investors including Magna International, Castrol innoVentures, Volvo Group Venture Capital and UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund will accelerate Peloton’s development and deployment of truck platooning technology for the U.S. and international trucking industries.
“Peloton’s truck safety and platooning technology has the potential to dramatically improve highway safety and operational efficiency for trucking fleets,” said Rodney Slater, Peloton board member and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation. “These truck safety and automation technologies are a key part of the systems that the U.S. needs to address the dramatic growth in freight and traffic in the years ahead.”
The Peloton Truck Platooning System is a vehicle automation technology that has the potential to save lives and save fuel in today’s trucking operations. The System electronically couples pairs of trucks through a combination of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar-based active braking systems and proprietary vehicle-control algorithms. The direct communication link between the two trucks enables the rear truck to automatically react to acceleration or braking by the front truck nearly instantaneously. This automatic and immediate reaction improves safety and allows trucks to travel at closer distances, which also improves aerodynamics and reduces fuel use on both vehicles. Peloton’s Cloud-based Network Operations Center continuously monitors individual truck safety and approves the linking of pairs of trucks only on suitable roads under appropriate weather, vehicle and traffic conditions. Drivers retain steering control and command of their vehicles at all times. The Peloton System integrates best-in-class active safety systems with cloud-based monitoring, making individual trucks safer at all times and delivering a rapid ROI to fleets via fuel efficiency.
In 2013, Peloton began demonstrating its Truck Platooning System with fleets and other transportation stakeholders in the U.S., where the trucking industry is worth $682 billion annually.1 The System is proven to reduce fuel consumption by 10% for the rear truck and 4.5% for the front truck, based on industry-standard SAE J1321 Type II fuel economy testing conducted by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and trucking fleet C.R. England.
The Series A round was co-led by DENSO, an automotive supplier of advanced technology, and Intel Capital, the global investment arm of computing technology leader Intel.
“DENSO is excited to build a strong relationship with Peloton," says Tony Cannestra, Director of Corporate Ventures for DENSO International America. "As a leader in Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communications, we are eager to work closely with Peloton to implement the first large-scale deployment of V2V technology. DENSO believes the Peloton's system has the potential to help increase safety and fuel savings in the transportation industry.”
Intel offers Peloton insight into solutions involving high-speed processing, wireless security and the cloud. “As a leader in the Internet of Things, Intel is excited to support a company on its way to introducing a truly transformative application of connected vehicle technology,” said Elliot Garbus, Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Transportation Solutions Division. Intel Capital's investment was led by Managing Director Mark Lydon and was part of its $100 million Connected Car Fund.
Peloton is developing a Platooning Network Operations Center (NOC), a cloud-based service that communicates with the trucks to approve and adjust platooning parameters based on location, road, and weather conditions. It also helps trucks find platooning partners and collects unprecedented data about the vehicle, the driver and the operating environment. Peloton is developing data products to improve safety and efficiency of drivers, vehicles and fleet routing and logistics. The System's safety and analytics features are always active whether or not a truck is platooning or on its own.
“This combination of connected vehicles, advanced safety and analytics can revolutionize freight transport,” says Ralph Eschenbach, Peloton board member and former Chief Technology Officer of Trimble Navigation. “It’s remarkable to recognize how far location-based services have come since I started working on early GPS applications in 1976.”
The Series A round also included seed round investors Sand Hill Angels, the Band of Angels, Birchmere Ventures and the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund. These non-controlling investments, notably including support from five Fortune 500 leaders in technology and transportation, will accelerate Peloton’s plans to offer systems across all OEM truck platforms without constraints.
“As one of the largest global automotive suppliers and a leader in camera technology and driver assistance systems, we are proud to partner with the Peloton team to assist them in advancing safety and efficiency in the trucking industry,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna International.
“We are excited to be working with this strategic group of investors," said Peloton CEO Josh Switkes. "Together, we make an outstanding team that combines world-class vehicle engineering, Silicon Valley expertise in the cloud and connectivity, and the support of global business leaders in transportation and technology.”
Peloton’s executive team includes founders Switkes; Principal Scientist Dr. Chris Gerdes, Director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford; Chief Innovation officer Dave Lyons, former Tesla Director of Engineering, IDEO Studio Head and Silicon Valley tech veteran; and VP External Affairs Steve Boyd, former White House Assistant Press Secretary, PBS reporter/producer and seasoned business development executive. As VP Cloud Engineering, Ex-Yahoo and Oracle executive Chuck Price leads a team that includes Valley innovators in digital mapping, data engineering and the web, including key engineers from Ebay, Yahoo, Oracle, DeCarta, Dash. The Peloton vehicle engineering team includes key engineers from the DARPA automated vehicle challenges, Google, the VW Electronics Research Laboratory, Stanford Center for Automotive Research and other automotive driver assistance, safety and vehicle control experts.
To date, the Peloton System has logged more than 13,000 platooning miles and been showcased in on-highway demonstrations, government and fleet tests in Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Michigan. Demonstrations and fleet pilot deployments in additional States will be held later this year.
About DENSO Corporation:
DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world's major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs nearly 140,000 people. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, totaled US$39.8 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 9.0 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges.
About DENSO in North America:
Currently, in North America, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people at 33 consolidated companies and affiliates. Of these, 28 are manufacturing facilities located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In the U.S. alone, DENSO employs more than 14,000 people in California, Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaling US$7.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
About Intel Capital:
Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, consumer Internet, digital media and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$11.4 billion in over 1,400 companies in 57 countries. In that timeframe, 211 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world, and 368 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2014, Intel Capital invested $359 million in 125 investments, including 59 new deals. For more information on what makes Intel Capital one of the world’s most powerful venture capital firms, visit www.intelcapital.com or follow @Intelcapital.
About Magna International:
Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier with 313 manufacturing operations and 84 product development, engineering and sales centers in 28 countries. It has more than 131,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to our customers through innovative processes and World Class Manufacturing. Magna’s product capabilities include producing body, chassis, interior, exterior, seating, powertrain, electronic, vision, closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing. It’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MG) and the New York Stock Exchange (MGA). Visit www.magna.com.
About Volvo Group Venture Capital:
Volvo Group Venture Capital is part of the Volvo Group. With the objective of accelerating new business growth, Volvo Group Venture Capital invests in companies driving service orientation and product differentiation in the transportation industry.
About the Volvo Group:
The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 100,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2014, the Volvo Group’s sales amounted to about $38.2 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and are traded OTC in the U.S. Visit www.volvogroup.com
About UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund:
The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund is the private equity strategic investment arm of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Established in 1997, the Fund is a corporate venture capital group that focuses on innovation, developing critical partnerships and gaining knowledge returns from its investments in technology companies and emerging market spaces.
About Birchmere Ventures:
Birchmere Ventures, a seed/early stage venture fund with offices in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, partners with entrepreneurs in building innovative companies that make a positive impact while also delivering strong returns for our investors. With $250m under management, we have helped our portfolio companies achieve a cumulative $15b in market valuation.
About The Band of Angels:
The Band of Angels is Silicon Valley's oldest seed funding organization. A formal group of 150 former and current high tech executives who invest their time and money into cutting edge startup companies, the Band has seeded over 277 companies with 55 profitable M&A exits and 10 Nasdaq IPOs.
About Castrol innoVentures:
Castrol innoVentures is the innovation and venturing arm of Castrol. Based in the UK with a global remit, it seeks out and invests in new business opportunities to support Castrol’s core lubricants business and to develop options beyond lubricants.
About Sand Hill Angels:
Sand Hill Angels is a group of Silicon Valley accredited investors passionate about entrepreneurship and the commercialization of disruptive technologies and business models. With experience spanning all aspects of growing successful companies – from the formative stage through management of multi-billion dollar enterprises – Sand Hill Angels provides expertise and assistance to these fledging companies. The investment space includes Internet, Information Technology, Clean Tech, Consumer, and Life Sciences businesses. The Sand Hill Angel operating model is to work openly and collaboratively with venture capital funds, other angel organizations, and the Bay Area ecosystem that fosters the growth of technology start-ups. Visit www.sandhillangels.com.
About Peloton Technology:
Peloton Technology is a Silicon Valley-based vehicle automation company that is bringing new levels of safety, efficiency and analytics to freight trucking. Peloton employs vehicle-to-vehicle communications, active safety systems, vehicle control algorithms, and real-time monitoring to make individual trucks safer and enable platooning by pairs of tractor-trailers. Peloton systems also provide rich contextual data solutions for fleets and other transportation sector customers. Backed by five Fortune 500 transportation and technology companies and other investors, Peloton is bringing its solutions to the $682 billion US trucking industry and international markets. Visit www.peloton-tech.com or follow us @PelotonTech.
1 (American Trucking Associations, 2014).