After working for Google’s strategy branch in London, Clemens joined Merantix in 2018 in an operational role. Alongside our founders, Rasmus and Adrian, he supported the initial Merantix fundraising efforts and the overall Venture Studio setup. One of the first projects during this time was in the automotive industry - where he decided to found his own company, SiaSearch. Having completed prestigious research projects and signed first customers, SiaSearch has started to apply its technology stack and expertise to a wider range of topics in data management. The interview was a fascinating lesson in “innovation through evolution”.
Finn: Your company SiaSearch started in the automotive sector, more specifically in autonomous driving. Do you have a vision for what the sphere of mobility will look like by, say 2050?
Clemens: I think it would be a bit presumptuous to just project the future of mobility that far out. But that's also one of the great reasons to work on mobility, it’s an extremely dynamic field - and has been for the last 200 years. Today, I would say three main themes emerge: firstly, mobility is becoming more electrified. That of course has been greatly impacted by the work that Tesla has done, independent of what you think about them. Secondly, sharing is becoming more crucial. This includes thinking about what distances you should cover with what kind of device. And lastly, what we are working on, autonomy.
And, I think autonomy is a particularly exciting piece because it enables so many more dimensions. It affects urban planning, individuality, time and space usage. What we can say now though is that people have been a bit optimistic about the speed at which we could arrive at full autonomy. We won't just suddenly have robot taxis and this grand vision that McKinsey pointed out in their reports. Instead it will come through a whole bunch of continuous improvements, solving autonomy in a constraint type of environment. So starting from driving on the highway, which we sometimes already do, but also of course in the unmanned areas of logistics, last mile delivery, in construction and mining. These are all areas where autonomy is partially already in operation.