Ford acquires Livio to enhance in-car connectivity

The automaker said that this deal will allow the two companies to share technologies, intellectual properties and engineering talent.

By Benzinga Sep 27, 2013 10:56AM

Ford logo on the grill of a Ford F-150 truck at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show (© Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo)By Louis Bedigian

 

Ford (F) has acquired Livio, a Ferndale, Michigan-based software development startup.

 

Known to consumers for developing various Internet radio products, such as the Grooveshark Car Kit, Livio gained some acclaim in the mobile development community after creating its Connect API and Connect SDK.

 

Livio was founded by Jake Sigal, who built his company on the foundation of "More Music, Less Work." Prior to the acquisition, Livio received funding from a number of investors, including Angel Street Capital. Before Livio, Angel Street invested in firms like Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB).

 

"With the additional expertise Livio provides us, Ford intends to continue to lead the next generation of in-car connectivity with technology advancements that give consumers more options to access their devices on the go," Paul Mascarenas, Chief Technical Officer and VP of Ford Research and Innovation, said in a company release.

 

Ford said that this deal will allow the two companies to share technologies, intellectual properties and engineering talent. Together, they aim to create an industry standard for in-car connectivity.

 

In doing so, app creators would have a single platform to work with -- similar to Android or iOS, which are so big that app developers typically focus their attention on those operating systems. Ford wants to be a similar force in automobile app development.

 

By 2015, Ford estimates that 14 million vehicles will be equipped with its SYNC platform. Seven million vehicles are expected to be equipped with the SYNC AppLink by that time.

 

"At Livio, our philosophy is centered on bringing customers more connectivity with less hassle," said Livio CEO Jake Sigal, who was also quoted in the company release. "We believe this partnership is an excellent match, as it will give us the ability to work with Ford to provide customers even more access to new technologies in the vehicle infotainment space."

 

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

 

At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

 

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