China: Thundersoft acquires Rightware in $68m deal

Classic Chevrolet car.

Shenzhen-listed mobile operating system company Thundersoft is acquiring Finish user interface developer Rightware for €64 million (US$68 million) to expand internationally and enter the rapidly evolving automotive technology industry.

Its first acquisition outside of China, the deal is expected to close in early 2017. This acquisition strengthens Rightwares’ presence in the global automotive software and connected car market. It will remain an independent company through its existing brand, products and focus on the automotive industry.

In a media release, Jonas Geust, CEO of Rightware, commented: “Kanzi is expected to power over 25 million cars by 2022. With Thundersoft, we can expand this footprint further and support our customers even better. At Rightware, we take great pride in creating software that shapes the experiences of millions of drivers across the globe.”

He continues, “We see that the specialisation within the global automotive industry software will continue. This creates a huge possibility for us to position Kanzi as the industry standard software solution. The arrangement further strengthens our presence in the growing Asian automotive market and complements our strong footprint in the European and American automotive markets.”

According to the company, Rightwares’ current management will remain and re-invest in the company, which currently employs around 50 professionals and has a 12-month plan to recruit 20 new experts, approximately half of which are expected to be recruited in Finland. Founded in 2009, the company’s flagship product, Kanzi, is used by over 20 global automotive brands.

Kanzi enables the creation of digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems that enhance automotive brands and the overall driving experience.

Rightware’s has previously raised venture funding from Futuremark, Inventure, Nexit Ventures and Finnish Industry Investment. Financially, Rightwares’turnover for 2016 is expected to reach around 7 million Euros (~$7.3 million), with profitability being reached by the end of the year.

Thundersoft, founded in 2008, provides operating system technology and services globally for the mobile, automotive and IoT markets. It has strategic backing from Qualcomm and Intel.

Commenting on the acquisition, Larry Geng, CEO of Thundersoft, said, “The automotive market is one of the fastest growing segments for Thundersoft, and we are providing in-vehicle infotainment and cluster OS solutions to our customers worldwide. Cars are getting smarter — with rich applications and fully optimised OS solutions.”

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