Over the past couple years, both Nokia Growth Partners and Intel Capital announced separate $100M Connected Car Funds. Is the promise of universally connected and intelligent vehicles closer to becoming a reality?
According to the data, investments to companies in and around the connected car space are indeed gaining traction among both venture capital and corporate investors. Firms tracked in the connected car market within the CB Insights database include a range of technologies, covering:
Automotive and fleet telematics – Companies providing software and sensors to monitor the location, movements, behavior and habits of consumer and/or enterprise vehicles or fleets of vehicles. Examples include Telogis and Airbiquity.
Smart parking solutions and apps – Companies helping drivers detect, track and facilitate the parking process including when vehicles occupy or leave a parking space. Examples include Streetline and Parko.
Ease-of-use navigation – Companies offering in-car technologies to navigate and track road travel and conditions. This includes Inrix and Loc&All.
Driver assistance/driverless technology – Companies proving technologies for driver safety, accident avoidance as well as autonomous driving. Examples include Mobileye and Cruise Automation.
Not including a $400M round to now public Mobileye in 2013, startups in the connected car space have raised $625M across 90 deals since 2009. On a year-over-year basis, deal activity to the connected car ecosystem grew 42% between 2013 and 2012 and over 4x on a five-year basis. Among the notable deals in 2014 so far are Zubie‘s $8M round led by Nokia Growth Partners and Magna International and Inrix’s $10M Series E.
The chart below highlights the growth in deals to the connected car market since 2009. The 2014 figure is a YTD number so we can expect more deals in the remainder of the year.
Corporates get busy in connected car space
When we visualize the universe of connected car companies using the CB Insights’ Business Social Graph, it’s clear that the connected car space is one corporate investors are keen on staying on top of. As the social graph below shows, corporates ranging from BMW and Castrol to Intel and Qualcomm have been busy in the connected car space.
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