Self-driving car startup Otonomo has closed a $12 million series A round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Stageone Ventures, with participation from Maniv Mobility and LocalGlobe.
Founded out of Tel Aviv in 2015, Otonomo’s cloud-based platform connects service providers and app developers with millions of connected cars. For example, car manufacturers may use Otonomo to share and monetize car data, while offering drivers access to additional in-car services. The company says that it has already begun trials with manufacturers and service providers, and with an extra $12 million in its coffers, it plans to expand and scale its service as it gears up for prime time.
“Gartner has predicted that by 2020, a quarter of a billion connected vehicles will be on the road — all of which will depend on in-car digital apps,” explained Ben Volkow, CEO and cofounder of Otonomo. “But in order for cars to provide the best connected service for drivers, car manufacturers need a platform they trust to share and negotiate data between them and application providers while meeting different data and privacy regulations that respect and accommodate drivers’ privacy. That’s where Otonomo comes in, as our integrated cloud-based platform is a trusted gateway between the services and apps drivers want and the security the automotive industry needs.”
This year has seen a myriad of investments across the connected car and autonomous vehicle realm. Automile, a startup that helps companies manage their vehicle fleets, recently secured a $6.2 million investment; Civil Maps, a mapping startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and local vehicle-based processing to convert data obtained from a car’s sensors into “meaningful map information” for use in autonomous vehicles, raised $6.6 million; FiveAI closed a $2.7 million funding round for its machine-learning smarts that could underpin the autonomous cars of the future; and Drive Time Metrics raised $2.1 million to monetize connected car data.
Elsewhere, a number of startups have been snapped up by bigger companies as the autonomous vehicle land-grab enters overdrive — for example, Cruise Automation was acquired by GM for over $1 billion, while Uber acquired self-driving truck startup Otto.