Israeli start-up targets growing surge of data in cars

A vehicle being produced at Nissan's factory in Sunderland in the U.K.
Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As automakers, technology firms and insurance providers collect a growing amount of data from drivers' vehicles, an Israeli start-up wants to be the proverbial middleman handling this new wave of information.

Tel Aviv-based Otonomo, whose cloud technology allows transportation app providers to access data from auto manufacturers, has secured $12 million in series A financing.

The company markets its product as a place where carmakers can share data with application providers, while upholding the necessary data and privacy regulations to protect drivers. Otonomo plans to use the additional funding to fuel its expansion.

"By 2020, a quarter of a billion connected vehicles will be on the road — all of which will depend on in-car digital apps," said Ben Volkow, co-founder and CEO of Otonomo. "Car manufacturers need a platform they trust."

The stream coming from millions of connected vehicles has enormous value, with a recent report by McKinsey & Co. estimating it could be worth up to $750 billion by 2030.

Started last year, Otonomo is already working with seven automakers, including Daimler.

"This information is growing faster than we expected," Volkow said. "We already have 60 firms signed up to access data."

Bessemer Venture Partners and StageOne Ventures led the funding round, with Maniv Mobility and LocalGlobe also participating in the financing. Otonomo raised $3 million in series A financing from LocalGlobe and Stageone Ventures last year, according to CrunchBase.

In addition to the series A funding, Otonomo announced three new members to its board of advisors. They include Steve Girsky, former vice chairman of General Motors.

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