Thomas
von der Ohe

Co-Founder, CEO

WHAT DRIVES ME

You come across an opportunity to positively impact societies around the globe maybe once in your lifetime. An opportunity to truly make a difference. Our unique approach to autonomous driving gives us this chance: redefining how people move in a better way. Building and shipping a product with this great team is what drives me day and night.

BACKGROUND

Launched Zoox’ first self-driving vehicle on public streets as leading Technical Program Manager in Silicon Valley, launched Amazon’s first Echo as leading Technical Program Manager on Device Software, Founded two (funded) mobility companies. M. Sc. Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University.

Fabrizio
Scelsi

Co-Founder, CTO

WHAT DRIVES ME

Building products together with an amazing team based on cutting-edge technology to serve a greater purpose and solve problems – for the people, for our planet.

BACKGROUND

Manager of an engineering team in Silicon Valley to build autonomous shuttles, built teams and various mobility products: electric race cars, e-motorcycles, light electric vehicles, electric passenger vehicles, including one of the most successful electric delivery vehicles in Germany. RWTH Aachen, Imperial College London.

Bogdan
Djukic

Co-founder, VP Engineering & Teledrive Experience

WHAT DRIVES ME

Vay is aiming to launch the first vehicle without a safety driver on public roads in Europe. This involves exciting engineering challenges, many of which have never been worked on before, ranging from autonomous vehicle technology, cybersecurity, backend, machine learning and safety-critical SW. Coming up with engineering solutions to these topics is something that I’m super excited to work on at Vay.

BACKGROUND

Team Lead at Microsoft, Senior Software Engineer at Skype. M. Sc. in Computer Science from Belgrade University.

Mariona
Bosch

VP Programs and Engineering Operations

WHAT DRIVES ME

Working closely with people from different cultures and professional backgrounds (hardware, software, operations, etc.) gives me the chance to learn new ways of approaching projects, structuring teams, and setting up processes every day. The results of this incredible teamwork are hugely rewarding, and visible in each step of our product.

BACKGROUND

Part of the management circle at AUDI AG, responsible for the implementation of prototypes at early development stages of new products (innovation vehicles, concept and pre-series vehicles, show cars, design models, testing single parts, PoCs, 3D-printing)

Justin
Spratt

CBO - Business & Corporate Development

WHAT DRIVES ME

What drives me is to work on goals that have a big impact on society. Additionally, I wanted to work with the smartest and most innovative people in the tech world. That’s better at Vay than any other company I’ve spoken to recently.

BACKGROUND

Responsible for global strategic partnerships at Uber, where he focused on deals with automotive OEMs, vehicle fleet operators, vehicle battery technology companies and electrification infrastructure providers. Was CEO and chief growth officer at Quirk. Began his professional life at Morgan Stanley as a fixed income trader after studying economics and finance. Built the first startup incubator in Africa in 2002 and has been mentoring founders of technology startups for over ten years. He is an angel investor in software technology and holds board positions in some of these companies.

Caleb
Varner

US General Manager

WHAT DRIVES ME

We’re close to letting users experience the Vay Magic for the first time in Las Vegas and I know that they are going to find it a compelling mix of great value powered by a super slick in-app experience. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to take this piece of underlying tech (remote driving) and build an experience around it that users will use, love and tell their friends about.

BACKGROUND

Co-founded and served as the Global General Manager of Uber Rent & Valet, a new mobility investment by Uber. Lead the Global Vehicles team at Uber, overseeing critical planning and P&L responsibilities. Built Uber’s vehicles business in Latin America from the ground and managed the customer-facing financial services business across Sub-Saharan Africa. Lead international financial services strategy engagements with the Boston Consulting Group for John Deere, focusing on regions like Brazil, Africa, and India. Owns a Masters of Business Administration of Duke University.

David
Gossow

Senior Principal Software Engineer

WHAT DRIVES ME

After having worked in autonomous robotics research for a long time in the Silicon Valley, I am thrilled to be working at a company that is finally bringing this technology into people’s everyday lives.

BACKGROUND

Tech Lead at Google Tango in Mountain View, Research Engineer at Willow Garage, yoga instructor since 2018.

Johanna
Loomis

Lead Industrial Designer

WHAT DRIVES ME

What drives me at Vay is the enthusiasm and passion for a vision that is embedded in the company culture, and at the same time the strict discipline in its implementation.

BACKGROUND

Industrial Product Design Lead at TEAMS DESIGN GmbH for over six years, started as a Trainee in Shanghai City. Worked as Industrial and Product Designer at LOTHAR BOHM ASSOCIATES LIMITED, Lutz Herrmann Design, Indeed Innovation and Werksdesign.

Vladimir
Bilonenko

Director of Software Engineering

WHAT DRIVES ME

Helping engineers to do their best and most important work. Elegance in software. Bringing ideas from books to real life and from one domain to another. Going from A to B fast.

BACKGROUND

Software Generalist. Maps and Mobility Geek (Lon, Lat not Lat, Lon). High Load at Yandex, Geo Analytics and Last Mile at HERE Maps, Mobility Platform at Daimler. Conway’s Law Enthusiast.

ALINA
PRESTI

Teledriver

WHAT DRIVES ME

A car enthusiast, driven by cars, driving and technology.

BACKGROUND

Nursery school teacher. Driver at Skoda’s start-up Caredriver.

Vay raises $95m Series B round, becomes highest funded startup in Europe to pursue self-driving car technology

  • In a first step, Vay to launch first ever fleet of teledriven cars in Hamburg, Germany in 2022
  • Funds to be used to triple headcount in order to build out scalable teledrive and driverless technologies, partnerships and launching more cities
  • New investors include Kinnevik, Coatue and Eurazeo. Niall Wass, former SVP International at Uber, becomes chairman. Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype and Atomico, joins the board

Berlin, Germany — December 14, 2021 — Vay, the world’s leading teledrive mobility company, has announced today that it has raised $95m in Series B funding, the largest startup financing round in Europe to date in the self-driving car industry.  

Vay will use the funding to not only launch its first service in Hamburg, Germany in 2022, but to also triple the size of its team.  With a strong focus on growing its engineering team and capabilities, Vay will further develop its teledrive services as well as autonomous driving technology. Vay will initially operate a commercial teledriven service for consumers, whilst gradually introducing autonomous features. This will create real revenues much earlier than alternative  approaches but also ensure the highest levels of safety on the path towards full autonomy. 

In addition, Vay will  establish partnerships with the automotive industry ahead of its expansion to multiple cities in the coming years.

Starting next year, with a few taps in the Vay App, a teledriver will remotely drive an electric VayCar to the customer in a matter of minutes. The customer can then drive themselves to their destination. Upon arrival they will be able to leave the car without having to park it as a teledriver parks it for them or drives the vehicle to the next customer. As this service is offered at a fraction of the cost of popular ride-hailing services, it will be by far the most affordable door-to-door mobility service, which is why Vay believes its service will be highly competitive with owning a car in urban areas. 

Thomas von der Ohe, co-founder & CEO at Vay, “This funding round enables us to accelerate Vay’s rollout. Our service can offer urban residents a more convenient, environmentally friendly and affordable way to get to work or run their errands. We are excited to be supported by ambitious investors on our journey to become a global mobility company that is loved by its users.”

The round’s main participants involved new investors Kinnevik, Coatue and Eurazeo. Existing investors Atomico, La Famiglia, and Creandum also joined the round. In addition, Project A, Visionaries Club and signals Venture Capital participated in the round, as well as former Alphabet CFO Patrick Pichette, Spotify board member and Zalando board chair Cristina Stenbeck, Flixbus founders.

Natalie Tydeman, Senior Investment Director at Kinnevik and new board member at Vay: “Driverless transportation is potentially the biggest and most positive change in mobility in our generation. Thomas, Fabrizio, Bogdan, and the rest of the Vay team are pioneers in this industry, combining a visionary and pragmatic approach, with a strong mission to increase the safety and sustainability of transportation.  Kinnevik is excited to partner with Vay and we look forward to joining the ride.”

As part of the round, Niall Wass, board member at Vay since Atomico led the company’s Series A round, will join the company as Senior Advisor & Chairman of the Board. As a serial operator and investor in successful tech-enabled consumer businesses, including leading Uber’s international business, he will support the company’s strategy and commercial operations. Also joining the board is Niklas Zennström, founder and CEO of Atomico and Founder of Skype.

The company has recently expanded its senior leadership team with additional key hires. Daniel Buchmueller, former co-founder of Amazon Prime Air and VP & Head of Drone Cargo at Airbus, joined as Senior Vice President of Engineering. Dr. Volker Hartmann, previously General Counsel at autonomous driving company AID and in charge of autonomous driving legal topics at Daimler and Audi, is responsible for Legal & Governmental Affairs at Vay. Lastly, the company, for which safety is of highest importance, has hired Hans-Leo Ross, a leading expert and textbook author on functional safety in the automotive industry, to lead its safety team. 

Vay’s system is engineered to high automotive safety and security standards. It can prevent the top four causes of fatal urban accidents, which are speeding, intoxication, distraction, and fatigue, and also has additional safety benefits, including 360-degree blindspot-free vision for the teledriver. 

Vay press contact 

[email protected]