E-Mobility start-up DeepDrive raises over 4 million euros and wins Peter Mertens as advisory board member
- DeepDrive has developed a highly efficient gearless in-wheel motor that addresses cost and range – the biggest issues faced by EVs
- First prototypes of the motor were tested and validated at the Fraunhofer Institute
- Many of the world’s largest car manufacturers have great interest in the technology
- The start-up receives seed funding of 4.3 million euros from UVC Partners, the Wachstumsfonds Bayern managed by Bayern Kapital, and business angels Peter Mertens and Jonas Rieke to develop the powertrains and meet high customer demand
Munich, 14/02/2022. The Munich-based e-mobility start-up DeepDrive develops innovative powertrains for electric vehicles. The innovative motor is 20% more efficient than current state of the art, can be manufactured at low cost and allows for the motor to be integrated into the wheel thanks to its compact and lightweight design. This enables new vehicle architectures that can solve the problems of existing EV concepts through high cost savings, a significantly higher range and far better space efficiency. Due to these advantages, there is a very high level of interest from both car manufacturers and manufacturers of micro-mobility vehicles.
„Since the 1990s, there have been repeated attempts around the world, with manageable success, to develop electric in-wheel motors that are durable, quiet and high-torque. The DeepDrive technology is a breakthrough and will mean that compact electric vehicles with low costs and fantastic proportions can become a reality,” says Peter Mertens, former Board Member for Development at Audi and Volvo, who supports DeepDrive as both an advisory board member and investor.
The founding team of DeepDrive had already met almost a decade ago at TUfast, the student motorsport team of TU Munich. Since its incorporation in May 2021, the team has developed the technology, applied for patents, built the first prototypes of the powertrain and validated its function, including the high efficiency, at the Fraunhofer Institute in Bremen. DeepDrive presented its innovation at the IAA in Munich in September 2021 and attracted very high interest from both potential customers and manufacturing partners.
DeepDrive has now closed a seed funding round of 4.3 million euros to develop its highly efficient electric powertrain and win first orders. “Our focus is now on meeting the huge demand for prototypes,” says Stefan Ender, co-founder and managing director of DeepDrive. “To this end, we are currently expanding our strong team and working with key partners and customer.” In the future, DeepDrive plans to offer complete plug & play vehicle platforms that are modular and flexibly scalable due to its in-wheel motor technology. This enables vehicle manufacturers to save significant development costs and time and to build their own models on the DeepDrive platform.
The well-known high-tech investors UVC Partners and Wachstumsfonds Bayern, managed by Bayern Kapital, as well as the business angels Peter Mertens, former Head of Research and Development and member of the Executive Board of Audi and Volvo, and Jonas Rieke, COO of Personio, have invested. “We are very much looking forward to putting our ambitious plans into action together with our investors,” says Felix Poernbacher, co-founder and managing director of DeepDrive. “In addition to UVC Partners and Wachstumsfonds Bayern, we have Peter Mertens on board, a very well-connected industry veteran with enormous automotive experience. Jonas Rieke is COO of Personio, one of the most valuable German start-ups, and supports us with his expertise on scaling companies quickly.”
Andreas Unseld, Partner at UVC Partners, says: „With the DeepDrive technology, electric mobility can realise its full potential and finally outperform conventional combustion vehicles. We are convinced that DeepDrive can make a major contribution to sustainable mobility.”
Roman Huber, Managing Director at Bayern Kapital, says: “With its innovative e-drive technology, DeepDrive is moving into one of the core fields of e-mobility. Efficiency, the creation of range and cost advantages as well as compact vehicle integration are addressed to a high degree by DeepDrive. We see great potential for DeepDrive in a fast-growing market.”
DeepDrive is a Munich-based e-mobility start-up that develops innovative powertrains for electric vehicles. The powertrains are 20% more efficient than current state of the art, can be produced at low cost and allow the motor to be integrated into the wheel thanks to their compact, lightweight design. This enables new vehicle architectures that can solve the problems of existing EV concepts through high cost savings, a significantly higher range and far better space efficiency. DeepDrive was founded in 2021 and currently employs 8 people.
About UVC Partners
UVC Partners is a Munich- and Berlin-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in European B2B startups in the areas of enterprise software, industrial technologies, and mobility. The fund typically invests between € 0.5m - 10m initially and up to € 30m in total per company. Portfolio companies benefit from the extensive investment and exit experience of the management team as well as from the close cooperation with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading innovation, and business creation center. With over 300 employees and more than 100 industry partners, UnternehmerTUM can draw from many years of experience in establishing young companies. This cooperation enables UVC Partners to offer startups unique access to talent, industry customers, and other financial partners.