Otonomo, a cloud-based platform that pulls together car manufacturers, app developers, and other service providers to leverage data generated from connected vehicles, has raised another $25 million in “strategic” funding. The round was led by automotive supplier Delphi Automotive, with participation from existing investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures, and Maniv Mobility.
Founded out of Israel in 2015, Otonomo helps connect apps with millions of connected cars, making it easier to share and monetize data, while also giving drivers access to useful in-car services. It’s basically designed to save carmakers from having to negotiate deals with individual service providers, and it removes the complexity of building technical integrations between every car-type and app. Otonomo is a centralized marketplace, the glue that pulls data from cars together, bundles it, and helps sell it.
The company had previously raised around $15 million in funding, including a $12 million tranche just a few months ago, and its latest cash injection will be used to “drive the company’s aggressive global expansion plans” to meet growing demand.
While connectivity is a key facet of the burgeoning self-driving car revolution, most modern cars have some form of internet connection built-in to enable a range of services, from parking to cashless gas payments. And while smartphones continue to generate a ton of data that can be repurposed and sold on, cars are now in the same boat, so to speak.
“Data is driving the future of the automotive industry,” said Otonomo cofounder and CEO Ben Volkow. “Otonomo enables car manufacturers and ecosystem services alike to capitalize on this opportunity in order to drive new revenues and better driving experiences by enabling secure and managed access to vehicle data. While we know very little about building cars, we do provide a great deal of knowledge and expertise when it comes to data and connectivity. With our connected car platform, we provide a trusted gateway between the services and third-party applications drivers want and the security the automotive industry requires.”
Flush with cash, Otonomo is now gearing up to expand globally into the U.S., Asia, and across Europe. Delphi’s involvement in leading the funding round is also indicative of where Otonomo is heading, and it’s a major win for the fledgling startup. U.K.-based Delphi is one of the world’s biggest automotive parts manufacturers, and its investment underpins a broader commercial partnership with Otonomo to “further develop and expand new data services for car OEMs,” according to a company statement.
“With consumers now demanding more connectivity in their vehicles, we are committed to investing in cutting-edge technologies to leverage the value of this data for our customers,” added Glen De Vos, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Delphi. “This collaboration agreement serves to strengthen our capabilities in data and software technologies, vital for the long-term growth within the automotive market.”
Today’s news comes in the same week as German automotive parts giant Bosch inked a deal with Mercedes-Benz’ parent company Daimer to launch driverless taxis by the beginning of the next decade.