A Vancouver-based company may be ready to park at the centre of the connected car space.
Right before Christmas, Mojio, a Vancouver-based tech company that offers a platform to connect your vehicle to your smartphone and other devices, secured $19-million in financing as part of a deal with Amazon.
It was a development another of its investors cheered.
“The connected car market is at a major inflection point and we are thrilled to invest in the Mojio team and this amazing opportunity,” said John Occhipinti, Partner at Relay Ventures, who have also invested in the company alongside BC Tech Fund and BDC Capital, said in a press release. “Just as my family has grown to love this product, we are excited to see others experience keeping their teen drivers safe, saving time coordinating busy schedules, and enjoying T-Mobile’s in-car LTE Wi-Fi hotspot on long trips to Lake Tahoe.”
Those investors join other notables such as Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments and former AOL boss Steve Case as believers who have put their cash into Mojio.
T-Mobile’s SyncUP Drive is a device that was released in November that uses the Mojio platform. Mojio’s a cloud based platform that allows you to connect your vehicle to your smartphone and a wide range of different apps which allow real-time gps tracking, anti-theft, and diagnostic data. The diagnostic data it provides allows you to see what is wrong with your vehicle before you bring it into a mechanic. It also provides behavioral trends for your vehicle and can even calculate expense costs. And SyncUp Drive also acts as a mobile hotspot for your vehicle.
Mojio’s solutions weren’t designed entirely with millennials in mind, but they will resonate with digital natives. For instance, if someone attempts to start your car’s ignition while in anti-theft mode, you receive a notification on your phone along with an alarm. GPS features also allow you to see where your car is should it ever be stolen or lost. If you’re a Generation X’er with kids who wants to see where they are, you will use Mojio a little differently.
Amazon’s investment in Mojio is a strategic one. All the above listed features will come paired with everything that Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa offers.
“Alexa now has more than 6,000 skills, and what we hear from customers is that some of the most useful skills are those which connect people to everyday tasks,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa said in a recent press release. “We’ve been impressed with Mojio’s innovation in the connected car space, and we’re excited to help them expand their capabilities and bring new, innovative skills to Alexa.”
Some of what Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa offers includes voice recognition, music streaming, news and traffic updates, weather forecasts, Bing search engine compatibility, and up to date sports statistics just in case you want to know the score of tonight’s game while you’re cruising around town. That’s just a few of the over 6,000 different capabilities.
“The Mojio team has built a leading, scalable platform and mobile app for connecting the 500 Million+ unconnected cars,” said Thomas Vogel, Investment Director of Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments in a press release. “Kenny Hawk (CEO) has built an experienced team with a track record of building highly successful businesses and we look forward to supporting Mojio’s growth.”
Mojio promises to make all “dumb” cars smart, any car that was made after 1996 should have the OBD port located under the steering wheel that is required to plug the device in. Meanwhile, with the way Mojio keeps plugging into connected money, it might not be long before it becomes a household name.