Venture capital firm EnerTech Capital has announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Dynamic Map Platform Co. Ltd. (DMP) has agreed to acquire Ushr Inc. Upon closing, the deal will establish a single, enhanced platform for accelerated development and delivery of high-definition (HD) mapping solutions for autonomous vehicles and advanced driver-assistance systems. DMP and Ushr provide high-quality HD maps in Japan and North America, respectively. EnerTech, a venture capital firm that invests in energy innovation and technology, is Ushr’s largest financial investor.
“EnerTech’s strategic vision and leadership were fundamental to the founding of Ushr and in reaching this agreement,” said Bruce Gordon, CEO of Ushr. “Their expertise, network and resources, not to mention their willingness to roll up their sleeves and work as a partner with management and stakeholders have been invaluable.”
Ushr was created in 2017 as a spin out of the automotive mapping business unit of a separate EnerTech portfolio company, GeoDigital, a Canadian company specializing in geospatial mapping services and software. Ushr’s market-leading HD map technology was integrated into General Motors’ Super Cruise, the industry’s first true hands-free advanced driver assistance system for the highway, and first seen on the 2018 Cadillac CT6. When combined with vehicles equipped with sensors and software enabling autonomous driving, Ushr’s HD maps allow self-driving cars to safely operate on mapped roadways, providing precise lane centering, smooth control through curves, and the ability to anticipate roadway changes, the company says.
“The agreement announced by Ushr and DMP is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work by all stakeholders involved,” said Scott Ungerer, founder and managing director of EnerTech Capital and chairman of the board of Ushr. “The success we’ve experienced at Ushr since inception in an extremely dynamic and competitive market environment has been rewarding and we look forward with excitement to the next chapter of growth for the combined businesses upon closing.”
In 2017, EnerTech spearheaded the strategy and spinout of GeoDigital’s automotive mapping business unit to form Ushr, providing the opportunity, independence and resources needed for success in the rapidly evolving market for advanced mobility solutions.
“The features and functionality that will redefine ‘driving’ in the coming years are being sourced from new providers, including young technology companies that may or may not have started life in the auto industry,” said Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors and a member of Ushr’s Board of Directors. “Investors like EnerTech, who provide the vision, resources, expertise and patience needed to help these companies recognize and seize new opportunities, are critical to the success of future developments in advanced mobility markets.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including receipt of regulatory approval. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.