Secondmind expands strategic partnership with Mazda

Date November 28, 2023
Author Kate Matthews

Secondmind expands strategic partnership with Mazda to accelerate vehicle design and development through advanced AI

Mazda joins existing Secondmind investors in new $16 million funding round

Secondmind announced today the expansion of its long-standing strategic partnership with Mazda to drive AI-fueled innovations that address the increasing engineering complexity in automotive design and development. The extended partnership centers around R&D and the commercial deployment of solutions that support systems engineering and validation processes, with the goal of unlocking time and cost efficiencies through increased virtualization in design and development, and a sharp focus on strategic applications with high complexity barriers to overcome.

As a key element of the expanded relationship, Mazda joined a new $16 million funding round in Secondmind alongside existing Secondmind investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Atlantic Bridge Ventures, and Cambridge Innovation Capital, signalling strong support for Secondmind leadership, innovative Active Learning technology, product differentiation, and the company’s opportunity in the automotive sector.

The new funding, which includes conversion of a Future Fund note, will enable Secondmind to scale key aspects of its business, including ramping up sales and marketing and accelerating development of the company’s award-winning, cloud-native Secondmind Optimization Engine.

The extension of the strategic partnership builds on more than three years of collaboration with increased support of Mazda’s advanced AI research and education strategy. Secondmind will serve as a guide to the Cambridge AI ecosystem to bring more advanced AI solutions to automotive engineering as a key component of the partnership.

Gary Brotman, Chief Executive Officer at Secondmind, said: “Secondmind and Mazda have been aligned from day one around a common goal of enabling continuous optimization of vehicle design and performance and helping the automotive industry deliver in the era of the software-defined vehicle. This expanded strategic partnership agreement strengthens our long-standing relationship of deep collaboration, and we are proud to support Mazda in opening new avenues for AI innovation in automotive engineering by way of Mazda’s advanced AI research and education strategy. We’re excited to welcome Mazda as an investor in this funding round alongside Amadeus Capital Partners, Atlantic Bridge, and Cambridge Innovation Capital, and we look forward to leveraging this infusion of capital to accelerate the development and commercial deployment of more high-value system design optimization and calibration applications for Mazda and the automotive industry at large.”

Naohito Saga, Executive Officer in charge of R&D strategy planning at Mazda, said: “The automotive industry needs to further accelerate the speed and efficiency of development due to the diversification of market needs and the increasing sophistication and complexity of technology, and we hope that our partnership with Secondmind will bring out-of-the-box thinking and innovative technology to Mazda. We look forward to the partnership with Secondmind contributing to the further evolution of Mazda's vehicle manufacturing.”

Hermann Hauser, Co-Founder and Venture Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, said: "We have backed Secondmind since its earliest stages when it was one of the first companies we found developing practical applications for AI. Still true to this mission, Secondmind's strategic focus on the automotive industry has proven highly successful and its partnership with Mazda is testament to this. We are pleased to partner with such an industry leader in the latest investment round."

Kevin Dillon, Managing Partner, Atlantic Bridge Ventures, said: “As a major investor in Secondmind since 2017, Atlantic Bridge Ventures remains committed to helping the company capitalize on strong demand for its ground-breaking machine learning solutions for precision engineering, and we are excited to welcome Mazda, an automotive engineering innovator, as a strategic investor in Secondmind. We firmly believe in Secondmind's potential to catalyze transformative automotive design and development efficiencies in the era of the software-defined vehicle.”

Ian Lane, Partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital, said: "We are delighted to be part of Secondmind’s mission to transform the design of sustainable vehicles through the power of AI and machine learning. We congratulate Gary and his team on the expansion of their groundbreaking partnership with Mazda, which places Cambridge at the heart of global efforts to accelerate the automotive industry’s transition towards a carbon-neutral future. Secondmind’s AI and cloud-native optimization solutions arm engineers with the tools and confidence to reimagine the development and driving experience of electric vehicles, enabling continuous enhancements in energy efficiency and performance throughout the vehicle’s lifespan.”

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