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DENSO Invests Nearly $100 Million in Startups to Advance Mobility
[December 06, 2018]

DENSO Invests Nearly $100 Million in Startups to Advance Mobility


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- DENSO, the world's second largest mobility supplier, has invested nearly $100 million over a four-year period in startup companies around the world as part of its long-term vision to provide software-based solutions focused on electrification, automated driving, connectivity and shared economy. From cyber security to semiconductors and sensors, DENSO is investing in startup companies working on key technologies that will play a major role in advancing mobility services that are safe, secure and efficient.

At DENSO, it begins with people. (PRNewsFoto/Denso International)

"DENSO has traditionally been self-sufficient with its R&D efforts. About five years ago, we realized that to keep pace with the predicted changes in the automotive industry and consumer demand, we needed to embrace an open innovation model that places equal importance on internal and external technology development in all product areas," said Tony Cannestra, Director of Corporate Ventures at DENSO. "DENSO used to be all about spark plugs and air conditioning units, and while those are still important products for us, we are focused on building a strong ecosystem of software, advanced hardware, and other mobility technologies to quickly and flexibly develop unique solutions that meet the needs of our customers, especially in EVs and autonomous driving."

Recent investment areas for DENSO include:

  • Autonomous and Shared Mobility: DENSO invested additional dollars into Ridecell's Series B funding round for the development of shared mobility. Its partnership with Thinci™ is enhancing deep learningcapabilities required for autonomous vehicles.
  • Cybersecurity: DENSO led Dellfer's initial funding round to help the company develop cybersecurity safeguards for connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • Electrification: An investment in FLOSFIA is focused on a semiconductor device expected to reduce the energy loss, cost, size and weight of inverters used in electrified vehicles.
  • Sensing: Along with a handful of other strategic investors, DENSO invested in Metawave Corporation to accelerate the development and improve performance of in-vehicle, "smart" radar sensors for autonomous cars.



Several DENSO-backed startups will join DENSO at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Thinci, Dellfer, Metawave and Ridecell will demo their technologies for attendees in DENSO's booth, #4619, in Las Vegas, Nevada, from January 8-11, 2019.

Looking ahead, DENSO will continue to invest in startups and entrepreneurs who can help accelerate innovation in the automotive industry. In 2011, DENSO took steps to strengthen and grow its core automotive business and identify and support non-auto technologies that could be used to advance mobility when it opened its Silicon Valley location. In 2014, DENSO expanded that office to further support and promote startup companies and advanced R&D activities in multiple areas of innovation. In 2016, DENSO began opening satellite R&D offices all around the world to create advanced technologies and services.


"DENSO has been around for a long time and we want to be here for another 70+ years for our customers and employees," said Cannestra. "To ensure that happens, we need great partners who are focused on developing technologies to radically advance our mode of transportation now and well into the future."

About DENSO
DENSO is a $48.1 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 220 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company's 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global.   

In North America, DENSO employs 24,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 31 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,000+ employees across 11 states and 25 sites. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career. For more information, go to https://www.denso.com/us-ca/en/.

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SOURCE DENSO


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