Urgent.ly, the roadside assistance startup that connects car owners who need help with tow truck and other services, has raised $21 million in a Series B round that includes the venture arms of BMW, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover.
BMW has also signed Urgent.ly as a vendor partner for its own roadside assistance platform (known as BMW Assist) to provide roadside assistance and extended mobility services to owners of all four of its brands in the U.S., including BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Urgent.ly, founded by Chris Spanos, Surendra Goel and Luke Kathol, doesn’t charge annual membership fees like AAA or other auto clubs. Instead, the app works a lot like Uber of Lyft. Users can request help like getting a jump-start, a tow or tire change via the app, which connects them with available services nearby. At that time, the user is shown what the towing or other service fee will be. Payments are handled within the app.
The potential for Urgent.ly goes beyond connecting with traditional car owners. The platform is scalable, making it attractive for companies that have large fleets, too. And as more electric vehicles come to market, there may be more demand for roadside assistance services like mobile charging.
“The old model of roadside assistance must make way for a modern, more digital approach,” Kasper Sage, a partner at BMW i Ventures said. “Urgent.ly will allow OEMs around the world to provide their customers the kind of real-time and connected digital experience they now expect in everything from food delivery to ridesharing.”