Zubie raises $10 million for connected-car technology

Staff Report
Published Dec. 12, 2013

Zubie, a Charleston-based connected-car service provider, announced today it has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Castrol InnoVentures, Comporium Inc. and OpenAir Equity Partners.

Zubie, founded in 2012, launched the car data service in September; it connects drivers to their cars so they can monitor vehicles in real time and diagnose repair problems.

It uses a cellular device — the Zubie Key — to plug directly into a car’s onboard diagnostics port and capture vehicle and driving data for car owners and drivers. The device generates car diagnostics; location alerts, which could be used by parents to track their children; driving behavior reports; and other features, such as travel coordination tools.

“Customers have the option of sharing their data in exchange for services and discounts from companies. ... This in turn enables companies to aggregate a tremendous amount of actual and accurate driver, trip and car data on the Zubie platform,” according to a company statement.

Insurance, automotive and advertising industries could use the driving and vehicle data that Zubie captures. Zubie plans to work with these sectors through its Zubie SmartOffer technology.

”Zubie is perfectly poised to be the point of connection where consumers can save time and money and providers can better understand consumers’ needs and provide compelling offers,” Zubie CEO Tim Kelly said in a statement.

Once the Zubie Key is plugged in, the car is connected, and both the car data and driving data are transmitted from the Zubie Key to the cloud via built-in cellular data connection.

“We are delighted to support such an innovative company that is developing intuitive connected-car solutions now and looking to the future car market,” said Angel Gambino, Castrol InnoVentures’ smart mobility general manager, in a statement.

The company also announced today that John M. Barnes Jr., executive vice president of marketing and business solutions for Comporium, and Jonathan Tudor, venture director for Castrol InnoVentures, will join the Zubie board of directors.

Zubie is a mobile and Internet services company and was formerly known as GreenLight Connectivity Solutions. Headquartered in Charleston, the company also has operational offices in the Minneapolis area.

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