Vimcar, a startup out of Berlin, is developing a clever tech solution to help small to medium-sized companies manage their car fleets.
It consists of an internet-connected aftermarket “OBDII” adapter that plugs into the diagnostic port of a vehicle, and an app to do things like mileage tracking, which is particularly useful for tax and expenses purposes.
The bigger plan, however, is to turn Vimcar into a fully fledged digital fleet manager, handling the whole gamut of managing company vehicles and all of the associated processes.
To help that become a reality, the startup has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding. Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners (the investment branch of Munich-based UnternehmerTUM), and Coparion led the round. Other investors include the French Groupe Arnault and various business angels.
“[We are] digitizing SMB fleets by simplifying the management of business vehicles,” says Vimcar co-founder Andreas Schneider. “Based on different data sources, the solution is merging all relevant information in a one-stop and easy-to-use software. This makes Vimcar especially interesting for small companies without a human fleet manager and tired about complicated enterprise solutions.”
The startup’s OBD aftermarket hardware and accompanying app integrates live car data, starting with trip logging for the purpose of tax authorities. Now Vimcar is building on top of this data by also integrating things like fuel cards, driver licenses or leasing contracts.
“Our dream in the long run is that Vimcar should be able to automatically manage our customers’ fleets, with minimal human interaction,” says Schneider.
Meanwhile, competitors include Fleetmatics in the U.S. and TomTom’s Webfleet in Europe. “That’s the two big guys we are attacking,” says the Vimcar founder. “The main difference is the product: we don’t develop another fleet management software for the enterprise segment but clearly a consumer-grade solution that is extremely easy-to-use and proactively talks to you if there is something to do.”