German transport tech startup KONUX raises $80 million from investors

BERLIN (Reuters) - KONUX, a Munich-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to help run railway networks, said on Friday it had raised $80 million from investors, and would hire 100 data scientists and software engineers to develop and expand its product portfolio.

The Series C funding round was led by Sanno Capital while it was also backed by Athos, the investment vehicle of the Struengmann family that is the largest shareholder in COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech.

Existing investors also participated in the round, including DIVC and Silicon Valley-based NEA - a backer of commission-free stock trading app Robinhood - and NEA’s former chairman Dick Kramlich.

KONUX runs a software platform that uses smart sensors and machine learning to optimise the operation of rail networks. It counts Deutsche Bahn as a client and operates in 10 countries.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Maria Sheahan