clock menu more-arrow no yes

Stefan Heck’s little-known startup, Nauto, works to make cars safer today and self-driving tomorrow

Heck is No. 68 on the Recode 100.

Many investors have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into self-driving car startups, mostly accepting that they won’t have businesses for a while. Nauto, founded by Stanford professor and former McKinsey director Stefan Heck, is an exception.

As the auto-tech startup begins working with carmakers on software that could eventually enable autonomous driving, it is already bringing in revenue by offering devices — which detect things like dangerous driving behavior, and capture footage inside and around the car during incidents — to commercial fleets and to insurance companies.

With two revenue streams and a long-term goal of enabling self-driving cars, it’s not hard to understand how Heck has been able to attract $159 million from major investors like Greylock and SoftBank. Under Heck’s leadership, the company also scored partnerships with a number of automakers, like BMW and GM, while also beginning its international expansion.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter The Weeds

Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays.