Based in Chester, UK, wejo is a connected car startup that delivers intelligent insights for car manufacturers, insurers, and service providers through an automotive data exchange platform. The startup currently tracks over 7 million vehicles in over 180 countries (curating over 78 billion miles of data) and anticipates that 28 million cars will be on its platform by 2020.
Founded in 2014, wejo has just received an investment of €91 million in a Series B round led by General Motors, including an in-kind contribution worth more than €60 million, for a 35% stake in the company. This follows on a €13 million Series A round raised in 2018, and the Series B round now puts wejo’s valuation at €244 million.
“This strategic partnership with GM represents a major step forward for wejo and puts us at the forefront of the connected car revolution,” said Richard Barlow, CEO of wejo. “It’s a statement of intent from one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. Connected car data is of enormous value, not least to drivers who will be able to use it to unlock an evolving number of benefits, whether that’s cheaper insurance and fuel or a place to park.”
The startup emphasises that the partnership with GM will deliver significant benefits to drivers such as enhancing vehicle safety and improving drivers’ experiences by facilitating the development of new products and services, like real-time parking availability and local fuel price comparisons. However wejo will continue to engage in data sharing agreements with other auto manufacturers, driving solutions in areas like traffic and mapping, urban mobility, insurance, parking, and geolocation.
Wejo also collaborates with partners such as local governments, for example by sharing data to improve traffic signalling, with benefits for air quality by reducing emissions and traffic congestion.
The connected car market is predicted to rise to over 250 million cars by 2020, and the global market opportunity is estimated at $750 billion. With offices in Chester, Manchester, and San Jose, wejo currently employs 150 people, and the new funding will allow the startup to scale rapidly.