Next-generation computer vision and biomechanics technology company Simi will support ZF Friedrichshafen in its development of new ADAS and autonomous vehicle systems
LONDON, UK & MUNICH, GERMANY, 13 May 2019 – Hampleton Partners, the international mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance advisory firm for technology companies, has advised Simi Reality Motion Systems GmbH, a leading developer of fully markerless video-based motion capture and analysis software, on its acquisition by ZF Friedrichshafen, the global automotive supplier and front-runner in developing the next generation of autonomous vehicle technology. This is the second transaction that Hampleton has closed with ZF Friedrichshafen in two months.
“We are excited about the opportunity ahead of us as we embark on this journey with ZF,” commented Pascal Ruß, CEO of Simi. “Hampleton led a structured process and after considerable interest from other parties, was able to execute a great deal with the optimal partner for us. Their outstanding knowledge of the computer vision space and their creativity in terms of potential future use cases for our technology, led to a comprehensive process with multiple “exciting matches”.
“Now, as a part of an excellent company in ZF, we can’t wait to further develop our platform. Motion is part of what makes everyone a human, and our vision for capturing, tracking and classifying this essential mode of expression remains as clear as it did the day my father, Andreas Ruß, founded Simi, almost three decades ago.”
Simi will join a global leader in autonomous development, while ZF Friedrichshafen will add mission-critical computer vision systems for its vehicles to enhance their safety, reliability and passenger ride experience. Simi’s technology is able to capture, track and identify human motion to ultra-high precision, and is unique in its ability to calculate object physics using image-based systems.
Ralph Hübner, sector principal, Hampleton Partners, commented: “There has never been a more exciting time for computer vision companies as multiple trends take off near-simultaneously. Scores of industries are being transformed by motion analysis technology, be it in healthcare, entertainment, defence, sports or - most prominently – in automotive.”
Heiko Garrelfs, sector principal and AR/VR expert, Hampleton Partners, added: “We are at a technology inflexion point, where the vision the founders had over a decade ago is quickly becoming a commercial reality. ZF Friedrichshafen clearly has an eye to the future as it partners with a real pioneer in computer vision systems, and we look forward to seeing where Philip and Pascal take the company next with such an outstanding partner.”
Miro Parizek, principal partner and founder, Hampleton Partners, commented: “As Hampleton Partners’ third autonomous vehicle transaction in nine months, it is eminently clear that what was once a dream in a driverless future is rapidly becoming a reality. This successful tie-up between Simi and ZF Friedrichshafen proves once again that M&A execution expertise coupled with a genuine and deep industry knowledge results in an optimal transaction outcome.”
The engagement was led by Ralph Hübner and Heiko Garrelfs with Nicholas Milligan supporting the transaction at Hampleton.
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Simi is a pioneer in computer vision software and systems. Its flagship technology allows for fully markerless motion capture and analysis, requiring only simple camera inputs to track, calculate and predict an object’s motion and physics. Simi’s systems have been developed over two decades as a company and is headquartered in Unterschleißheim, Germany.
Further information about Simi is available at http://www.simi.com/en/
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company has a global workforce of 146,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2017, ZF achieved sales of €36.4 billion and as such, is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.
Further information about ZF is available at https://www.zf.com