CloudCar, a startup still in stealth mode that was the subject of rumors earlier this month when Robert Scoble reported that Andy Rubin would leave his job at Google to join it, has filed a Form D with the SEC indicating that it has raised $11.5 million in a Series A round.
The startup may not be Rubin’s next place of employment, but he is connected to it: after the rumor hit, and then he denied it on Twitter, he further clarified in a Google+ post that CloudCar “are a group of friends who I give free office space to in my incubator in Los Altos.”
The Series A, the Form D notes, comes in Series A Preferred Stock; Warrants to Purchase Series A-1 Preferred Stock; Series A-1 Preferred Stock issuable upon exercise of Warrants; Common Stock issuable upon conversion of Series A and Series A-1 Stock, with the only stated purposes of the funding being “Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes including, but not limited to, executive salaries.” (Not atypical for a stealth-mode fundraising.)
While there were some questions over what exactly CloudCar was doing when the Rubin rumor hit, it actually has a website with more detail on the company.
It looks like it will be doing something in the area of bridging in-car services with the kind of wireless content that we are now getting on smartphones and tablets — using cloud-based storage to do it: “The explosive growth of smart phones has raised consumer expectations for the connected in-car experience,” the site says on its jobs page. It notes that ABI predicts that within five years, 90 percent of new cars will ship with connected car features. “Yet market penetration for Connected Cars is in single digits because the current industry technology base prevents rapid innovation.”
Its CEO is Konstantin Othmer, who had previously been the CEO and founder of Core Mobility, a wireless enterprise service that worked with device manufacturers and wireless operators on visual voicemail, voice SMS, wireless backup, and push-to-talk services that shipped on 40 million mobile devices in four countries, according to the site. Core Mobility was purchased by Smith Micro Software. Prior to that he founded CRM startup ePeople, and before that had been an engineer at Apple.
The COO, Brue Leak, and CTO, Peter Barrett, both have experience in web TV services: Leak at WebTV and Barrett at Microsoft TV. Jim Wickett, head of business partnerships, also has extensive experience in media technology companies, most recently at Macrovision/Rovi as EVP.
The company is currently hiring engineers for “new consumer experiences that broaden the scope of current market leading mobile platforms.”
We are contacting CloudCar to see if it can provide some more detail on this funding round and what we might expect next from the company — and whether Rubin has increased his involvement in any way.
CloudCar is a startup still in stealth mode that builds new consumer experiences that broaden the scope of current market leading mobile platforms. CloudCar creates important new technology that bridges in-car services with wireless content similar to the kinds we get on smartphones and tablets. ABI predicts that these features will be integrated and shipped out in the automative industry within five years.