Pull Systems emerges from the partnership between Up.Labs and Porsche to improve the performance of electric vehicles
- March 18, 2023
- No Comment
When Porsche partnered with venture studio UP.Labs, the mission was to create six startups over a three-year period, all geared towards solving the German automaker’s biggest problems and compelling enough as a standalone company to be to attract other customers.
On Porsche’s list: software to help manage and automate EV performance. Pull Systems, the first startup from the partnership, has developed a software product that the two companies say can solve this problem. Pull Systems, which debuted at SXSW 2023, also announced that it has raised $5 million in a seed round led by UP.Partners.
“Cars are becoming a combination of software and battery — and ultimately battery power,” said Katelyn Foley, President of UP.Labs. “And OEMs really need to get to a point where they can understand both of those aspects to stay competitive, because the things that they’re really good at are actually the standard parts of the car.”
Pull Systems is a software-as-a-service platform that provides performance management software to EV vendors, manufacturers and operators. The product is not battery management software (BMS), which is technically responsible for collecting data about the battery and communicating with the battery management system. The startup’s software is a compliment, said Henry Furman, former venture head of product at UP.Labs and now chief product officer of Pull Systems.
And it’s already rolled out to Porsche Taycan vehicles that are on the road today.
The startup has developed a library of machine learning models that can analyze and predict vehicle behaviors, such as driving and charging, across the entire Porsche fleet. This type of information, coupled with external data such as weather patterns and road conditions, can be used to predict and then notify the automaker or EV owners when a vehicle needs servicing, when over-the-air software updates are provided need to be and even accelerate afterwards. revenues.
The software tracks and collects data on each vehicle in the Porsche EV fleet, which can also help identify performance issues that new firmware could solve, or determine the best second-life option for the battery if they reached the end of her life, Furman added.
Ultimately, the company wants the software to be automated using machine learning tools.
“Our real vision here, within the complexity of electrification, is that the cars will actually be able to do some of the management of their own propulsion system,” Furman said. “We see a great opportunity for us to automate many of the essentially rules-based reasoning for these various software updates.”
For example, the software could identify a weather front coming into a certain area and issue a software update that helps optimize the batteries, he explained.
That’s a compelling prospect for Porsche, a company that plans to expand its EV lineup beyond the Taycan over the next few years, including the Macan in 2024, the 718 in 2025, a Cayenne, and a yet-to-be-named Full -Size SUV.
Pull Systems plans to add several more automakers to its service over the next year.
The Up.Labs connection
UP.Labs is not a venture company, although it evolved from and operates alongside UP.Partners. It’s also not a corporate accelerator or incubator, although it builds startups and works with corporations. The company, founded during the UP.Summit 2022 in Bentonville, Arkansas, is structured as a venture lab with a novel financial investment vehicle.
Porsche is the first corporate partner. Foley told Zoo House News that more corporate partnerships will be announced this year.
“The way our model works is that we identify big areas of friction that touch big pools of value, and it’s the confluence of those two things that needs to be there,” Foley said. “So it’s someone who feels the problem acutely and it’s a lot of money at stake – and we’re not going to consider anything outside of those two areas.”
In the beginning, the company dissects the company to find any problems. UP.Labs identified 217 at Porsche and reduced them to a set of problems and accompanying ideas that would solve them. An investment committee that includes UP.Labs, Porsche and UP.Partners is narrowing them down to the final couple the team will begin incubating.
Under the three-year agreement with Porsche, UP.Labs will launch six companies or two per year with new business models focused on the automaker’s core activities such as predictive maintenance, supply chain transparency or digital retail, according to Lutz Meschke, vice president and CEO Head of Finance and IT at Porsche AG.