October 4, 2016
When you think of it, the way some segments of technology are transformed from “niche” to success is admirable. The market of connected cars is a good example: after a somewhat slow start, big brands started to bet seriously on it and, nowadays, no one dares to envision the market’s future without smart and connected cars.
That market is definitely booming, and the recent investment secured by Drust perfectly illustrates this reality. This French company developed a system, named AKOLYT, which is comprised by a connected device and mobile app, which help drivers master driving skills and keep a close eye on the car’s maintenance.
The Funds: $3.4 Million
Now, Drust is announcing the conclusion of a strong investment round evaluated at $3.4 million, which will support the commercial launch of AKOLYT, planned for the end of this year. At the same time, the company also announced the establishment of a strategic partnership with Macif Group, a European market leader in auto insurance. After being a great hit on CES 2014, the sector of connected cars, in which Drust operates, is also expanding greatly. In fact, a forecast by Ptolemus expects that, by 2020, the market for connected car mobility services will be generating $350 billion in revenues – which is a powerful evolution over the forecasts from 2 years ago. Despite this being a market with some challenges to face, its potential is almost endless, especially now that big players are going for it. Microsoft has a raising interest on connected cars, and most car manufacturers are giving their vehicles more and more technological capacity. In addition, many startups are disrupting this industry – Metromile, with its recent $191.5 million financing round, is a great example.
The Goal: Freedom of Mobility
Drust’s product, AKOLYT, puts drivers first, connecting them to their cars and the surrounding automobile ecosystem in a unique way. Its app is community-based, featuring useful services such as real time feedback to master driving skills, vehicle diagnostics and maintenance management. Drivers benefit greatly from using this service, with demonstrated fuel savings going up to 30% and knowing that their car is kept in a better condition. Michael Fernandez, CEO of Drust, stated his vision on the automotive market:
“Beyond the energy optimizations that we already provide today, we want to transform our relationship with the car by imagining a world of transparent services without constraints in order to only keep the best of what a car has to offer: freedom of individual mobility.”
By partnering up with Macif Group, the number one car insurer in France, Drust will have the possibility to develop new driving solutions, enriching Macif’s portfolio in terms of automobile offering. The two companies have similar goals, which are connected to make drivers’ life easier and respect the privacy of their users’ data.
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