Even in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, some of Israel’s smart-mobility startups are still raising funds. The latest is Otonomo, which has closed an impressive $46-million investment to further expand its connected-car platform.
Based in Herzliah and with offices in California and Germany, Otonomo specializes in automotive data. It claims to draw data from some 20 million vehicles, allowing its clients to develop apps and services for individual consumers, fleet operators, and smart cities.
The company was founded by serial entrepreneur Ben Volkow in 2015, and has since brought on board over 100 partners – including Daimler, BMW, and Mitsubishi, and reports that it’s currently onboarding seven additional OEMs.
“These Series C funds will enable Otonomo to expand our global footprint, further innovate our products, and cement our leadership position,” said Volkow. “We now have the expanded resources needed to deliver on our vision of making car data as valuable as possible for the entire transportation ecosystem, while adhering to the strictest privacy and security standards.”
The Series C funding round was raised from Korean conglomerate SK Holdings, car-rental giant Avis Budget Group, Alliance Ventures (the investment arm of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group), and recurring investor Bessemer Venture Partners. The $46 million raised brings Otonomo’s total investments to date up to $82 million, and the company intends to use the funds to further scale its growing business and expand into additional geographical markets.
“We researched many companies and determined that Otonomo is the automotive data services platform leader with the best vision, technology, team, and market adoption,” said Alliance Ventures managing director Christian Noske. “Bessemer has invested in Ben Volkow in the past and has been with Otonomo since the seed round,” added Bessemer partner Amit Karp. “The company had the vision to create the automotive data services category and has since then built a leadership position in the market. ”
The news comes shortly after smart-glass startup Gauzy raised $10 million from investors including Hyundai. Almost a month prior, ride-sharing firm Via raised hundreds of millions from investors like EXOR and Shell. Others (like Engie) have not been as fortunate, however, and have been forced instead to close due to the economic effects of the Coronavirus.