PACE Telematics, a connected car startup from Karlsruhe (Germany), developed a system which easily connects a car via a Bluetooth adaptor with the smartphone and turns it into a smartcar. With its innovative idea, PACE Telemantics recently won the CyberChampions Award in the category “Newcomer”.
PACE managed nearly simultaneously to gain the necessary funding for further growth. The Karlsruhe- and Berlin-based startup secured a significant seven-digit investment by L-Bank and industry experts of the smartcar & telematics sector.
Cars are getting increasingly 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. I guess this is the same in most other European countries.
Philip Blatter, managing director of PACE Telematics explains: “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.”
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 successful campaign on Kickstarter in April 2016. Here, over 330,000€ were secured through pre-orders.
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 LBank 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 stated: “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.”