Sports car maker Porsche invests in Israeli startup Anagog

Tel Aviv-based firm’s software analyzes smartphone’s sensor signals to help understand user’s ‘mobility’ status and location

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

A Porsche 991 convertible (photo credit: CC-BY Calm Vistas/Wikimedia Commons)
A Porsche 991 convertible (photo credit: CC-BY Calm Vistas/Wikimedia Commons)

The digital arm of German sports car maker Porsche AG has bought a minority stake in Israeli artificial intelligence software developer Anagog in a bid to expand its offering of digital technologies, the German firm said, without revealing financial details of the deal.

Anagog, is a Tel Aviv-based startup, developed an artificial intelligence-based software that analyzes sensor signals in smartphones to help understand users’ real-time “mobility” status and location — if they are walking, approaching their car, parking or sleeping, allowing their smartphone apps to better target them with appropriate services. This also helps businesses identify consumer behavior and trends and anticipate customer behavior in certain situations, which could lead to features such as intelligent parking options, Porsche Digital GmbH said in a statement last week.

“With this investment, Porsche is continuing to drive digital transformation and as a result can now develop and offer context-based and personalized services,” Porsche said.

Founded in 2010 by Yaron Aizenbud and Gil Levy, Anagog currently has around 30 employees and has raised some $11 million, according to the Start-Up Nation Finder database.

“We are delighted that our investment in Anagog allows us to continue developing our expertise and opportunities regarding artificial intelligence in the field of mobility,” said Thilo Koslowski, managing director of Porsche Digital. “The Israeli start-up scene in the technology sector is founded on an enormous amount of knowledge and potential. We are keen to work with new companies to continue developing new digital offerings and launch these solutions in the market quickly so that customers can start benefiting from them.”

The technology offered by Anagog is integrated into smartphone applications and is currently used in about 100 apps from around the globe, the statement said. Data analysis happens directly on the mobile device, meaning that there is no need for user data to be transferred to the cloud or to external servers. As a result, users retain full control over their data while still benefiting from better contextual services, Porsche said in the statement.

“We are looking forward to developing new and innovative ideas with Porsche in order to offer customers the best possible mobility solutions. Digital experience is becoming ever more essential and, most importantly, can also be used in a useful format for new mobility services,” said Anagog CEO Ofer Tziperman.

Porsche Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche focusing on the car maker’s digital strategies. The unit identifies and evaluates trends and invests in startups, thus tapping into the latest developments. The company has sites in Ludwigsburg, Berlin and Santa Clara in Silicon Valley, and further locations in Asia are planned.

Intel Corp.’s massive acquisition of Jerusalem-based Mobileye for $15.3 billion in March this year has pushed Israel to the forefront of the highly competitive autonomous car and auto-tech industry. Some 450 companies in Israel are currently engaged in smart transportation fields such as travel sharing, communication, sensors and control systems, according to the Israel Innovation Authority.

In November, car manufacturing giant Mercedes-Benz, a division of the German company Daimler AG, opened a new technology hub in Tel Aviv that will help the maker of world’s first automobile tap into the newest auto and security technologies being developed in the so-called startup nation.

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