Robin Schönbeck (Founder, Managing Director), Martin Kern (Founder, Managing Director), and Philip Blatter (Founder, Managing Director) © Louisa Summer
What inspired you to found your startup?
We wanted to provide an affordable system that enables everyone to use innovative connected car features with older cars. This led to the development of our retrofit OBD II solution PACE Link and PACE Cloud. We also provide multiple connected car services to B2B partners.
How are you different? What is your unique value proposition?
Our proprietary cloud architecture, run on our own servers, is unique due to high flexibility of data input (e.g., 3rd party systems, ECUs) and data output (APIs, SDKs, apps, HMI) driving value for B2B partners. Also, our set of microservices has an unrivaled scope of connected car functionality.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
We strive to create an environment that attracts and motivates highly talented people who have the same fascination for cars and digitalization that we have. That enables us, as a team, to create value by driving digitalization in the automotive industry.
What do you want to achieve next year?
In the next 12 months, our focus will be on scaling our B2B business in the retrofit connected car space (via OBD II), as well as leveraging our flexible PACE developer hub with APIs and SDKs, providing connected car services directly from the cloud.
Why do people want to work at your company?
The PACE team loves working here due to our great team spirit, our fascination for cars, the steep learning curves, and our experienced senior leadership team. We work at the forefront of innovations in the connected car space with exciting, cutting-edge technologies.
What has been the most important milestone so far?
The cornerstone of PACE was our very successful Kickstarter campaign in early 2016, that laid the foundation for the development of our system today. We won more than 3.500 excited PACE customers within only 8 weeks, and we were able to gain many valuable insights during this development.
Looking back at your whole development story — what makes you most proud?
That we not only mastered the challenge of successfully developing and launching our own hardware (PACE Link OBD II) as a startup, but also managed to build a cloud platform that has proven to be flexible enough to provide tremendous value to B2B partners even without OBD II technology.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
PACE will be the leading, manufacturer-independent big data and connected car services platform in the automotive industry. We will be deeply integrated in new cars, as well as retrofit systems, generating a rich and deep data pool that creates value to B2B partners and end users alike.
What is your impression of launching a startup from your based city?
Being based in Karlsruhe and Berlin, we enjoy the “best of both worlds”: we are very close to technology talent and the KIT in Karlsruhe, while being present in Berlin to gain access to marketing talent and to be close to the digital hubs of our automotive B2B partners.
What is your impression of the german startup scene? Would you change anything?
Over the last years, the German scene generated a lot of great ideas and attracted great talent, also on an international scale. Overall however, German startups should be encouraged to think bigger and take more risks.
PACE Telematics was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Germany“, November 2018.