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Japan’s DMP buying venture-backed Ushr to create self-driving map platform

Japan’s Dynamic Map Platform agreed to acquire Ushr, a Canadian-born maker of high-definition map technology for autonomous driving.

Terms weren’t disclosed.

Earlier this week, Nikkei Asian Review reported the purchase price to be nearly $181 million. Reuters later reported the price to be closer to $200 million.

Upon closing, DMP and Ushr will form a single platform to rapidly develop and deliver HD mapping solutions for autonomous vehicles and driver-assistance systems, according to a news release.

DMP, backed by multiple automakers, including Toyota, NissanHonda and Mazda, will provide the solutions in Japan, while Ushr will do the same in North America.

Ushr, based in Detroit, is a spinout of the automotive mapping unit of GeoDigital, a Canadian provider of geospatial mapping software and services.

The new business was launched two years ago with a $10 million Series A financing. The round’s backers were EnerTech Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, Forté Ventures and strategic investor GM Ventures.

EnerTech, a Toronto energy-tech venture firm and one of GeoDigital’s primary investors, played a key role in the spinout and Ushr’s strategy.

Today, EnerTech is the company’s largest financial shareholder. Founder and Managing Director Scott Ungerer serves as chairman.

Ushr’s map technology allows self-driving vehicles to operate on mapped roadways, providing lane centering, control through curves, and an ability to anticipate roadway changes.

Shortly after GM Ventures’ invested in 2017, Ushr integrated the solution into General Motors’ Super Cruise, a hands-free highway driving system. The system was first installed in the 2018 Cadillac CT6.

Along with its Toronto headquarters, EnerTech has offices in Boston, Calgary, Delray Beach, Florida, Montréal, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Led by Managing Directors Wally Hunter, Scott Ungerer, Dean Sciorillo and Jarett Carson, the firm is currently investing from EnerTech Capital Partners IV, which raised $118 million in 2013.

Emerald, an industrial tech venture firm, has offices in Zurich and Toronto.

(This story was updated to include Reuters‘ report of the purchase price.)