PACE wins CyberChampions Award and closes series A round
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PACE Telematics, a startup from Germany, developed a system which easily connects a car via a Bluetooth adaptor with the smartphone and turns it into a smartcar. With this innovative idea, PACE won this year’s CyberChampions Award in the category “Newcomer”. PACE Telematics managed nearly simultaneously to gain the necessary funding for further growth. The young company based in Karlsruhe and Berlin was offered a significant seven-digit investment by L-Bank and industry experts of the smartcar & telematics sector.
Smartphone, smartwatch and smarthome – many of today’s every-day devices are step-by-step gaining access to the world-wide-web and thereby to our digitalized lives. Cars, too, are getting more intelligent and, as smartcars, are often continuously connected to the internet. However, as the live span of a car is on average about 9 years in Germany, many German car drivers have not yet experienced the advantages modern smartcars have to offer.
Philip Blatter, managing director PACE Telematics GmbH: “We wanted to change this with our PACE Link. Our small adapter gets plugged into the on-board diagnostics socket of the car. Like this, both old and new cars turn into smartcars. The PACE Link adapter connects your car and your smartphone via Bluetooth. This way, PACE offers 9 innovative functions which support car drivers in their every-day lives and make driving safer, cheaper and less stressful. For example, PACE calls for help in case of an accident, documents all your trips in a driver’s log book conforming to German tax law, finds the nearest and cheapest gas station and analyses your car’s problems when one of the indicator lamps lights up.”
First place at the CyberChampions Award
With this innovation, PACE placed first in the category “Newcomer” at this year’s CyberChampions Award. Over 40 startups applied for this category. All these startups have been operating in the market for less than two years; yet all of them have already exhibited great success. The CyberForum has been awarding innovative and promising startups, and product ideas with this award for over ten years. The Robin Schönbeck, managing director PACE Telematics GmbH: “We are thrilled that we have been awarded this prize at the CyberChampion Awards. CyberLab has supported us from the very start. They have offered infrastructural help when needed and connected us with many important contacts through the CyberForum network. This support made it possible for us to ‘hit the road with squeaking tires’. Our team is very much looking forward to our continued cooperation.”
Successful series A round
PACE was founded by Dr. Martin Kern, Robin Schönbeck and Philip Blatter in spring 2015. All three PACE founders are experienced entrepreneurs, who have already realized several successful startup projects. Driven by their enthusiasm for both driving and innovative technologies, they decided to create PACE. In the beginning, the PACE founders funded the project themselves, followed by a seven-digit seed round in fall 2015 and a very successful campaign on Kickstarter in April 2016. Here, over 330,000€ were earned through preorders. The PACE team has now decided to include additional investors in order to reach PACE’s full potential and keep the competitive advantage by quickly growing further. With the L-Bank and select business angels from the smartcar and telematics sector, PACE gained competent and financially strong partners who invested a significant seven-digit ticket based on a valuation in the double-digit million range.
Christian Roth, managing director of LEA Partners GmbH: “We are certain that we are going to enjoy our involvement with PACE. PACE combines the different advantages of the high-tech region Karlsruhe perfectly: innovative products, technical excellence, an experienced team of ‘serial entrepreneurs’ as well as the CyberForum’s connectivity as incubator, and LEA as a classic financial investor who can support further growth as an active and entrepreneurial equity investor.”
Dr. Martin Kern, managing director PACE Telematics GmbH: “We are glad to have the LEA Partners team on board. Having gained the support of such a renowned investor for our startup is a great confirmation of our work so far. The dynamic and the positive momentum of LEA Partners during this process has been impressive.”