Mojio, the Vancouver, Canada-based connected car platform, today announced that it has raised an $8 million Series A round led by Telekom Capital, the investment arm of Deutsche Telekom. This marks Telekom Capital’s first investment from its recently launched 500 million euro global fund.
Other investors in this round include early-stage VC firm Relay Ventures, Canada’s government-funded venture arm BDC, and AOL co-founder Steve Case. The company previously raised a $2.3 million seed round.
In many ways, Mojio’s hardware product is similar to products like Automatic, which also plug into a car’s diagnostic port to bring connected car features to any car. What sets Mojio apart from most of its competitors is that it includes built-in connectivity and a GPS in its unit while others typically rely on a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone for their more advanced features. Mojio also sees itself as an open platform, so developers can make use of the data from its device in their own apps. The company says that it currently has about 500 active developers on its platform.
Mojio’s hardware currently ships for $149 with the first year of connectivity included (after that, the subscription costs $4.99 per month). The company’s own app is only available on iOS.
“At Mojio we strive to deliver a continuous and ever-expanding relationship with our customers. Fundamentally, that is completely missing in today’s car ownership experience and is no surprise when nearly every car on the road is severed from the Internet,” said Jay Giraud, CEO of Mojio, in a statement today. “With the strong support of Telekom Capital, we can now bring our vision for the Internet of cars to drivers around the world.”
While connected car services like Mojio have gotten quite a bit of buzz over the last few years, things have gotten rather quiet around this market in recent months, especially as car makers themselves started bringing some of the services these tools enable directly to their own platforms.
In addition, platforms like Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are quickly making inroads with many car manufacturers, so I’m somewhat skeptical about the long-term viability of this market for small players, which mostly target older cars without built-in connectivity. Because it’s making a platform play, though, Mojio may have a better shot at making it than some of its rivals.