Nauto, a SoftBank-backed mobility startup, brings on team from Newton

Nauto, the transportation company that aims to make human drivers safer and train autonomous vehicles for all types of scenarios, has scooped up the team from Newton Technologies, following the company’s ceasing of operations.*

Newton Technologies aims to reduce the number of driving-related deaths to zero by leveraging AI to create solutions geared toward connected mobility, safety mapping and driver behavior analytics.

Newton’s driver assistant, for example, provides drivers with personalized risk profiles, safer routes and real-time warnings. This very closely aligns with the mission of Nauto Prevent, a product Nauto launched last June to prevent distracted driving.

“We have always held Nauto in high regard, and it has become clear that Nauto is the right home for Newton’s team and technology,” Newton Technologies CEO Lawrence Lin Murata wrote in a blog post. “We are beyond excited to join Nauto — doing so will allow us to take our work to the next level as we strive towards our shared goal of making driving safer and smarter. We are confident that, by joining forces with their talented team and leadership, we will be able to add value to the many drivers who rely on Nauto to stay safe.”

Pear Ventures had previously invested in Newton Technologies. To date, Nauto has raised $173.9 million from General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and BMW iVentures. In July 2017, Nauto raised a $159 million Series B round from SoftBank and Greylock.

“In connection with Newton Technologies ceasing operations, we can confirm we have attracted Newton Technologies employees to be integrated into the Nauto team to make driving smarter and safer,” Nauto COO Jennifer Haroon said in a statement to TechCrunch.

*An earlier version of this article stated Nauto acquired Newton Technologies. Instead, Newton has shut down its operations and joined the Nauto team.