8. April 2013–
Panasonic Automotive – a supplier of in-vehicle entertainment systems – today announced its acquisition of Berlin-based audio streaming service Aupeo. The news follows an announcement back in January that the pair had plans for "strategic collaboration".
The buyout – first reported today by GigaOM – is big news for the Berlin startup scene, which has been waiting for a major exit for some time, and comes amid a heated online discussion today about the international relevancy of startups originating from the German capital.
Financial information about the Aupeo-Panasonic deal has not been disclosed.
Aupeo – Pandora for your auto?
Founded in 2008 by Armin Schmidt and led by CEO Holger Weiss, Aupeo offers audio streams for internet-connected hardware devices and customisable radio stations for listeners – its streaming service is likened to Pandora and Last.fm.
With the acquisition of Aupeo, Panasonic is hoping to enrich the in-car entertainment experience for its automotive customers: "Providing connected services and mobile content delivery that both appeal to consumers and enable product differentiation is critical to the automotive industry," said Tom Gebhardt, President of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.
"There is a considerable need for a connected and personalised media content platform that enables consumers to access content on any device, while also enabling businesses to have a richer relationship with their customers," he added.
Aupeo works with a number of manufacturers in the automotive, mobile, PC and home entertainment industries. Currently, partner brands include Acer, Asus, Philips, Pioneer and Toshiba.
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