WOVEN PLANET HOLDINGS, A SUBSIDIARY OF TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, CLOSES ACQUISITION OF LYFT'S LEVEL 5 DIVISION
Tokyo, Japan ― Woven Planet Holdings, Inc. ("Woven Planet"), a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, announced the closing of the acquisition of Level 5, the self-driving division of Lyft, Inc. ("Lyft"), a proposed transaction previously announced in April 2021. This marks the first acquisition for Woven Planet, a group that is focused on mobility innovations and investments in automated driving, robotics, smart cities, and more.
With the acquisition in place, Woven Planet will be provided with technology, talent, and an international footprint that will accelerate its efforts. Woven Planet will immediately oversee Level 5's offices and operations in Silicon Valley and London. In addition, Woven Planet welcomes Level 5's team of over 300 high-caliber engineers, research scientists, and mobility specialists. It will also be acquiring the Lyft division's significant sensing, computing, and software assets, and Level 5's strategic capabilities in automated driving systems.
The deal closure follows the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review of the deal and determination that there are no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the transaction.
Comment from James Kuffner, CEO, Woven Planet
"As the first major acquisition for the Woven Planet Group, Level 5 represents a significant investment in our future. This deal strengthens our capabilities to deliver on the promise of freedom and mobility for all, uniting the resources, talent and technology needed to place us at the forefront of the mobility revolution. World-class skills and expertise from Level 5 will be combined with exceptional engineering know-how from Woven Planet and research insights from the team at Toyota Research Institute to form an industry brain trust. We are excited to bring this acquisition over the finish line, building a 'dream team' within the automotive and mobility industry."
Lyft was founded in 2012 and is one of the largest transportation networks in the United States and Canada. As the world shifts away from car ownership to transportation-as-a-service, Lyft is at the forefront of this massive societal change. Lyft's transportation network brings together rideshare, bikes, scooters, car rentals and transit all in one app. Lyft is singularly driven by our mission: to improve people's lives with the world's best transportation.
WOVEN CAPITAL INVESTS IN RIDECELL TO ACCELERATE GLOBAL GROWTH IN IOT-DRIVEN AUTOMATION FOR MOBILITY AND FLEET BUSINESSES
SAN FRANCISCO AND TOKYO ― Woven Capital, L.P. today announced that it has made an investment in Ridecell Inc., a leading platform powering digital transformations and IoT automation for fleet-driven businesses. Woven Capital is an $800 million global investment fund that supports innovative, growth-stage companies in mobility, automation, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, connectivity, and smart cities. It is the investment arm of the Woven Planet Group, a Toyota subsidiary which is dedicated to building the safest mobility in the world. Along with the investment, Ridecell and the Woven Planet Group will explore collaborative opportunities in mobility service operations.
"Ridecell is accelerating the digital transformation of a key part of the mobility industry―creating a comprehensive platform that connects fleets and automates workflow at scale," said Michiko Kato, Principal, Woven Capital. "We are excited to invest in Ridecell and explore collaborative opportunities together, as we continue to focus on innovative technology that delivers safe, secure, efficient, and seamless mobility for all."
"This investment with Woven Capital will be highly strategic as Ridecell continues to expand into new markets," said Aarjav Trivedi, founder, and CEO of Ridecell. "We are excited to have Woven Capital as our investor to bring Ridecell automation and mobility innovations that use automation and digital vehicle control to help create safe and secure mobility."
Ridecell's automation and mobility platform allows businesses to create a unified view of their vehicle fleets from deployed telematics, fleet management, and internal systems and use the consolidated insights to automate business and operational workflows. The platform furthers digital transformation and turns data overload into automated and efficient business operations.
About Woven Capital
Woven Capital is an $800 million global investment fund that supports growth-stage companies focused on technology and innovation in mobility. It was founded in 2021 as the corporate venture capital investment arm of the Woven Planet Group, a group of subsidiaries of Toyota. Woven Capital invests in mobility technologies, automation, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, connectivity, and smart cities globally.
Ridecell Inc. is leading the way in the digital transformation of fleet businesses and operations. Our IoT-driven automation and mobility platform helps businesses modernize and monetize their fleets by combining data insights with digital vehicle control to turn today's manual processes into automated workflows. The result is unmatched levels of efficiency and control for shared services, motorpool, rental, and logistic fleets.
Today Ridecell powers some of the most successful fleet businesses in cities across Europe and North America, including Gig Car Share from AAA. Ridecell is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Madrid, Paris, Berlin, and Pune, India.
WOVEN PLANET HOLDINGS, A SUBSIDIARY OF TOYOTA, TO ACQUIRE CARMERA
Tokyo, Japan ― Woven Planet Holdings, Inc. ("Woven Planet"), a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, announced the acquisition of CARMERA, Inc. ("CARMERA"), a U.S.-based spatial AI company, which specializes in bringing next-generation road intelligence to automated mobility at scale. This is the second major deal for Woven Planet in North America, following the April 2021 announcement to acquire Level 5, the self-driving division of Lyft.
Once the deal is closed, the CARMERA team will report into the Automated Mapping Platform ("AMP") organization of Woven Alpha, Inc. ("Woven Alpha"). Woven Alpha focuses on exploring new strategic areas for business expansion and incubates several innovative projects such as Woven City and Arene, which is Woven Planet's open software platform. AMP is a connected crowdsourced software platform that supports the creation, development and distribution of high definition ("HD") maps―a key enabler for smart and safe automated mobility.
The Woven Alpha team plans to develop AMP to become the most globally comprehensive road and lane network HD map platform, enabling high-precision localization support to automated vehicles. The acquisition of CARMERA will accelerate AMP's shift from the R&D stage to the next phase of commercialization by bolstering the platform's engineering team with top experts in the development of HD maps. In addition, it will provide access to CARMERA's sophisticated map update, change management and IoT sensing technology.
Together, the teams will tap into CARMERA's ability to successfully update HD maps from crowdsourced, camera-based inputs―a significantly cheaper and faster approach than traditional methods. This will strengthen AMP's ability to serve a comprehensive set of road classes and features, reflecting changes in lane markings, traffic signals, signs and more in near real-time, and support its future multi-regional commercial launch.
CARMERA will join Woven Planet Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary, expanding the company's footprint beyond its Tokyo headquarters by adding New York and Seattle offices to its planned offices in Silicon Valley and London.
Comment from Mandali Khalesi, Vice President of Automated Driving Strategy and Mapping, Woven Planet
"AMP has been a key project of Woven Planet since its foundation, helping support its vision of 'Mobility to Love, Safety to Live.' We've been progressing steadily in bringing safe automated mobility to the passenger and commercial vehicle segments, such as our recent announcements with Isuzu Motors Limited and Hino Motors, Ltd., and with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation. I'm really excited to welcome CARMERA to Woven Planet. With CARMERA joining the team, we'll be able to hit the accelerator. CARMERA's software stack, which is focused on real-time HD map changes and proprietary hardware custom-tailored to crowdsourcing, is an ideal complement to AMP's mapping efforts. In addition, their world-class experts will allow us to bring forward the execution of key strategic milestones and jumpstart operations in the United States."
Comment from Ro Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, CARMERA
"Woven Planet and AMP have been highly aligned with CARMERA's culture and mission from the beginning. Our teams have a common view of the unmet need for ubiquity in advanced mobility data going forward, including maps. Woven Planet, thanks to its software-first automotive DNA, shares our commitment to the end-user―to creating a technology stack that can be used safely and without friction by all stakeholders from data originators through to data consumers. This validates and furthers our founding thesis that richer, faster spatial intelligence is both critical to the next generation of 'Mobility for All' and viable at global-production scale. I'm beyond excited for CARMERA to join the Woven Planet organization, as it continues to strengthen its footprint in North America and ramp up its software-first development of mobility innovations."
CARMERA is a spatial AI company, built on the revolution of vehicular crowdsourcing and remote sensing to capture street-level change, at global breadth and high definition depth. CARMERA employs an open systems approach to working with the world's leading automotive companies, commercial mobility operators, and mapping platforms. With a team hailing from leading geospatial, machine learning and computer vision organizations, and venture backing from GV (Google Ventures) among others, the company is headquartered in New York City and Seattle. CARMERA is the recipient of multiple industry awards, including Frost & Sullivan's 2020 North American Mapping Company of the Year.