Honda R&D, the research and development arm of Japanese conglomerate Honda, announced on Monday the acquisition of California-based Drivemode in an attempt to strengthen Honda’s capabilities in the fields of digital and connected mobility products.
Honda R&D acquired all outstanding shares of Drivemode in a deal completed on September 26, making the connected car platform operator become its wholly-owned subsidiary, said Honda in a company statement.
Before the acquisition, Honda R&D and Drivemode have been collaborating and conducting joint development activities since 2015 through the Honda Xcelerator program, an open programme Honda has been pursuing on a global basis for innovators across all funding stages.
The deal will push forward the combination of Drivemode’s human resources, innovative software technologies and experience as a venture company with Honda’s product development technology and capability to offer connected services, said Toshihiro Mibe, president and representative director of Honda R&D.
“With the support of Honda, the Drivemode team can have a lasting impact on actual vehicles and drivers around the world at scale,” said Yo Koga, CEO of Drivemode.
Drivemode, founded in 2014, develops and operates smartphone-based connected services, specializing in multiple areas, such as the development of the user interface and application, as well as cloud-based technologies.
The company offers a mobile-based connected car platform through consumer-facing apps, driver assistance and analytics for fleet managers, and a bring-your-own-device connected car solution for automakers. Its safe driving app has over 2.5 million downloads in 150 countries, according to the company website.
Drivemode has raised a total of $9.2 million across three funding rounds. The company closed $6.5 million in a Series A round led by Panasonic in March 2017. It also completed a $2 million seed round in December 2014 and a $650,000 angel round in January 2014, according to Crunchbase.