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Chris Ruff of UIEvolution

UIEvolution has been around the block a few times, founded 13 years ago, acquired in 2004 by Square Enix and then spun back out into an independent company three years later.

Now, the Kirkland company is announcing an $8 million venture round from Intel Capital and Shaw Ventures, money it will use to continue work on a platform that helps businesses deliver their services to multiple screens.  UIEvolution is especially focusing on the automotive sector, forming a separate unit around its UIEngineTM and Auto Evolution products, designed to deliver a connected app experience for drivers. Current partners and customers include Toyota, Lexus, DENSO and Clarion.

The new unit will be led by Koji Hosaka, focusing on automotive solutions for car manufacturers and their technology providers. In fact, the company, which has been working on in-vehicle technologies for years, plans to present this week at the Content and Apps for Automotive USA conference in San Francisco.

“The market for connecting smartphones and vehicles continues to accelerate at a great pace, and we are delighted that our technology remains at the forefront of this integration,” said CEO Chris Ruff in a statement.

uievolution-logoUIEvolution also has formed a Connected Products group, led by Chief Product Officer Travis Beaven. It will focus on cloud-based delivery of mobile, SmartTV and digital signage offerings for the retail, restaurant, hospitality and cruise industries.

“This new round of funding will provide the necessary resources for UIEvolution to continue our growth and develop cutting-edge software solutions for automotive and other connected consumer experiences; verticals where customer demand is growing rapidly,” added Ruff.

As a result of the financing round, UIEvolution has named Intel Capital’s Marc Yi to the board. He had previously served as an observer. It also added Dennis Cuneo, former senior vice president of Toyota Motor North America, to the advisory board.

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