Auto Tech Exits Gathering Momentum In 2016

Large venture-backed exits within auto tech have been sporadic since 2012, but acquisition interest continues to grow.

This year has seen an explosion of interest in auto tech, as corporations pile into the autonomous vehicle space and investors increasingly target startups in self-driving and other auto tech disciplines. While both venture capital and corporate investors have ratcheted up their auto tech activity, exit activity has been relatively sparse, though headlined by several marquee deals.

Using CB Insights data, we took a look at exit activity from 2012-2016 within our definition of auto tech, which includes startups using software to improve safety, convenience, and efficiency in vehicles (and excludes activity in fields such as energy/powertrain, parking, and rentals/marketplaces). We focused on VC-backed companies and first exits (for example, this would leave out subsequent acquisitions after a company’s IPO).

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