Fernride Picks Up Another $19M in Series A Funding for Autonomous Yard Trucks

Fernride plans to scale development and operations worldwide.


Fernride is providing supervised autonomy for yard trucks.
Fernride, which takes a human-machine collaborative approach to electric, autonomous yard trucks, plans to expand globally.

One of the most promising areas for autonomous vehicles is in logistics yards. Fernride GmbH today announced that it has obtained $19 million in funding, bringing its today Series A round to $50 million.

“By closing our Series A at $50M, we have established an investor base consisting of multiple corporates and large venture funds that can provide us many key strategic advantages along the value chain, as well as fund our ambitious growth plans to build the global category leader for autonomous, electric trucking,” stated Hendrik Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Fernride.

Kramer, Maximilian Fisser, and Jean-Michael Georg founded Fernride, which conducted more than a decade of research to address industry challenges such as driver shortages and the negative environmental impact of logistics operations. The company currently has more than 130 employees in Munich and Wolfsburg, Germany.

Fernride develops collaborative, autonomous trucks

Fernride said it will use its latest financing to grow operations globally and position itself as a leader in electric, autonomous trucking.

Fernride said its scalable automation for yard trucking can productivity, promote sustainability, and improve worker safety. The company added that its human-machine collaboration technology allows for remote takeovers of trucks when necessary.

“This ensures seamless integration and reliable operations for logistics operators,” it said in a release. Fernride has partnered with leading industry players such as Volkswagen, DB Schenker, and HHLA.

New investors join support

Fernride said the second closing came in response to investor interest just weeks after its initial Series A announcement. A company spokesman noted that it was one of just four European “deep tech” startups to reach this funding level so far in 2023.

New investors included Germany’s Deep Tech and Climate Funds (DTCF), a $1 billion venture fund financed via Germany’s “Future Funds” and the ERP special fund. It was created to drive the growth of deep tech and climate companies in Germany and Europe.

“Fernride has assembled an exceptional team within the industry and has the potential to develop into a leading global technology champion from Germany,” said Dr. Elisabeth Schrey, managing director of DTCF. “Fernride’s use of pioneering technologies that automate and decarbonize the supply chain fits very well into the Deep Tech and Climate Fonds investment focus.”

Other backers included San Francisco-based Munich Re Ventures, Bayern Kapital, and Klaus Kleinfeld, who is also becoming chairman on Fernride's board.

“By starting with teleoperations that initially keeps a human in the loop, we believe Fernride’s step-by-step approach is the optimal path towards building fully autonomous capabilities,” observed Timur Davis, director at Munich Re Ventures. “Fernride has already demonstrated its ability to partner with key players in the industry and is positioned to rapidly build on its unique strengths and capabilities to succeed where others in the market have fallen short.”

Fernride said these investors joined existing venture capital supporters 10x Founders, Promus Ventures, Fly Ventures, Speedinvest, and Push Ventures. Corporate investors included HHLA Next, DB Schenker via Schenker Ventures, and Krone.

The company said its human-assisted approach to autonomy bolsters the economic viability of its offering, “unlocking the benefits and reliable service of driverless operations for their customers from Day 1.”

Fernride said it enables a "seamless" transition to autonomous, electric trucking by using teleoperation.

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Fernride is providing supervised autonomy for yard trucks.

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