In the last decade, IT developments and the increased use of digital technology has transformed the way railways function today. KONUX, a leading German AI/IoT startup provides smart sensor systems and AI-based analytics to enable predictive maintenance for the industrial world, including the railway industry.
Recently, the Munich-based company has raised $80 million (approx £58.5 million) funding in Series C round led by impact investor from the country, Sanno Capital. New investor Athos and other existing investors including DIVC, and leading Silicon Valley VC New Enterprise Associates (NEA) also participated. Furthermore, NEA’s Co-Founder and former Chairman Dick Kramlich also participated personally in this transaction.
The company will be using the fund to expand its team and global market footprint. Speaking to UKTN on how the funding will be used, Andreas Kunze, co-founder, KONUX says, “We will create more than a hundred new and super exciting jobs, especially in data science and software engineering to significantly expand our product portfolio and AI technological leadership. Additionally, we will boost our global market footprint.”
To date, the company has raised $130 million (approx £95.3 million) from various investors including New Enterprise Associates, MIG, and others.
Digitalising railway sector
Founded by Andreas Kunze, Vlad Lata, Max Hasler, and Dennis Humhal in 2014, KONUX is building SaaS products, using IIoT devices and machine learning to improve railway network capacity, reliability, and cost-efficiency.
Right now, the company operates in 10 countries in Europe and Asia including the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, Norway, Sweden, India, Japan, China. Andrea Kunze informed UKTN that “KONUX is actively working with NetworkRail in the UK. Further, they remained tight-lipped to share any more details.
Meanwhile, KONUX Founder and CEO Andreas Kunze said in a company press release: “Rail will play a major role in our long journey to lower CO2 emissions. To achieve this, rail infrastructure needs to be upgraded and digitized to become the mobility choice of tomorrow. KONUX is perfectly positioned to become a global market leader in rail’s digital transformation.”
Florian Moerth, the Managing Partner at Sanno Capital, said: “We are excited to deepen our partnership with KONUX – a truly amazing company which continuously outperforms its goals. KONUX transforms the complex transportation industry and thereby paves the way for a more sustainable future. Within its field, KONUX has positioned itself as the most recognized global market leader.”
“With Athos‘ and the Struengmanns‘ capabilities to make entrepreneurship ‘Made in Germany’ a global success, we are excited to work with KONUX and alongside such reputable existing investors on the next chapters of the business,” said Dr. Michael Riemenschneider, Managing Director of Athos.
KONUX is a next-generation ‘Made in Germany’ global market leader, addressing a huge pain point in the world of mobility. It’s fantastic that technology companies with such an ambition level and market potential are no longer exclusive to Silicon Valley but born and headquartered in Germany,” said Torsten Kreindl, Managing Partner at Munich-based DIVC and one of Europe’s most senior trans-Atlantic venture investors.
“We are super impressed with KONUX’s exceptional progress. They have emerged as the thought leader for the digitization of international railway systems — a huge future market, and we are delighted to further our partnership with the team,” said Greg Papadopoulos, former CTO of Sun Microsystems and Venture Partner at NEA.
Andreas Kunze added: “We will create more than a hundred new and super exciting jobs, especially in data science and software engineering to significantly expand our product portfolio and AI technological leadership. Additionally, we will boost our global market footprint.”
At the end of 2020, KONUX and Deutsche Bahn (DB) concluded the first-ever cloud-based SaaS long-term framework agreement on the digitisation of DB’s switches, as critical elements of the rail infrastructure to make passenger travel and cargo transportation more reliable.