Depending on the kind of vehicle you drive, you may have been one of the 10 million owners who received a recall notice in the past year related to an electronic component or software-related malfunction.
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Now armed with an $12 million Series A round of funding, San Jose, California-based Sibros is developing a connected vehicle platform to ensure that kind of thing becomes less prevalent.
Existing investor Nexus Venture Partners led the round with participation from Moneta Ventures and Twin Ventures. The new investment gives Sibros just over $15 million in total funding raised since the company was founded in 2018, according to Crunchbase data. The company previously raised $3.5 million in two seed rounds, the most recent in July 2019.
Sibros CEO Hemant Sikaria and his early engineers started out at Tesla, working on vehicle software development, particularly electronic control units, or ECUs. Modern vehicles can have anywhere from 50 to 150 of these units controlling things such as windows, wipers, or seatbelts.
The Sibros platform helps automakers control easily preventable costs, such as recalls, by offering an all-in-one user interface that connects and manages all of those ECUs, as well as collects data from them for advanced analytics, for example, to predict failures.
“One of the differentiators for us is that our team has built this before,” Sikaria told Crunchbase News. “At Tesla, some 1 million vehicles are using the tech we built. Now at Sibros, we are building the tech from scratch to support every type of vehicle.”
With the data collected, the platform can take terabytes of data and compress it to a few megabytes so it is more manageably analyzed, he said. It also provides connected services, such as usage-based insurance, driver personalization, or in-vehicle payments for goods and services for food, parking and tolls.
Sibros has identified 150 use cases in which customers can use its data, either right out of the box or by building additional components on top of the existing product.
Sikaria said the auto industry has been receptive to the platform.
“We were surprised that it typically takes 12 to 18 months for an automaker to engage with a new supplier, but because of their critical need and lack of other compelling solutions, we are able to engage in pilots in a few weeks.”
The new investment will be used to grow engineering and product development, as well as to expand globally. Sikaria said Sibros has a presence in Detroit, India and Japan, but would like to go into Germany, Italy and China.
Prior to the Series A, Sibros was growing organically and now has 40 employees and a dozen customers that span the auto industry from bikes and scooters to luxury sedans to bus and truck manufacturers, he said. Many of them are tech-first neighbors in Silicon Valley, which Sikaria said is a good indicator that older and larger original equipment manufacturers will follow suit and seek out those capabilities.
Meanwhile, the company will work on expanding partnerships in the cloud, telecommunications and microchip spaces in an effort to create an ecosystem. It will also get in front of opportunities internationally.
“We deployed our product last year, and now we feel like our product is ready, especially now that we have stabilized it across a large fleet—500,000 units so far,” Sikaria said. “We are ready to take on that next level of growth with this Series A.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias