Valeo acquires gestigon, specialized in software for cabin 3D image processing
Paris, March 13, 2017 – Valeo has acquired all of the outstanding shares of gestigon, a German start up specialized in developing 3D image processing software for the vehicle cabin.
Designed to reinforce Valeo’s technological leadership in automated driving, this acquisition provides a solution to the need to develop simple, intuitive and effective human-machine interfaces (HMI) in a hyper-connected world. With the acquisition, Valeo will be able to develop its cabin comfort and driving assistance operations, particularly in high-growth technologies such as interior cameras and image processing.
These technologies are increasingly a key differentiating factor in the automotive industry, and gestigon’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence-based solutions will contribute to the development of Valeo’s automated driving strategy. The start-up’s software suite, which is compatible with all types of in-vehicle gesture and movement recognition sensors, signals a real technological breakthrough.
Building on Valeo’s existing Driver Monitoring system, which can sense driver drowsiness or distraction, the acquisition will lead to the development of a comprehensive offering of object and occupant detection features. Going forward, the vehicle will be able to analyze the cabin environment and seamlessly adapt to the occupants’ safety needs – by activating airbags, for example.
“We are delighted to welcome gestigon to the Valeo community,” said Marc Vrecko, head of Valeo’s Comfort and Driving Assistance Systems Business Group. “As a leader in human-machine interface solutions, this start-up enjoys recognized expertise in the automotive industry. By combining our skills in a larger team, we will sharpen our edge and reinforce our leadership in autonomous and connected cars.”
“Our early investment in gestigon has paid off,” Dr. Torsten Löffler, Senior Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, is pleased to report. “The combination of a very strong technology, an impressive client portfolio and a highly motivated team led by CEO Moritz von Grotthuss and CTO Sascha Klement has proved to be a key factor in the success achieved.”
Bernd Ernst from MBG Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft adds: “We are absolutely delighted with gestigon’s success and the fact that we have been able to guide this great company from the start.”
“It was a great pleasure to work with two founders who proved to be real entrepreneurs. The focus on excellent technologies went hand in hand with a strong market focus, the development of an effective team and an organisational structure that works well,” confirms Fabian von Kuenheim (as chairman of advisory board and on behalf of the lead investor).
Valeo warmly welcomes the gestigon community within its Comfort and Driving Assistance Business Group.
Valeo is an automotive supplier, partner to all automakers worldwide. As a technology company, Valeo proposes innovative products and systems that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving. In 2016, the Group generated sales of 16.5 billion euros and invested over 11% of its original equipment sales in Research and Development. Valeo has 155 plants, 20 research centers, 38 development centers and 15 distribution platforms, and employs 91,800 people in 32 countries worldwide. Valeo is listed on the Paris stock exchange and is a member of the CAC 40 index.
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High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is Germany’s most active seed stage investor. With EUR 576 million under management in two funds we provide financing for technology-driven companies active in a wide range of fields, including robotics, IoT and energy, Medtech and Biotech, chemicals and software. Investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, and 18 strategic corporate investors.