The Internet of Things is knocking on the door of one of the largest consumer markets, the $800B US car industry. Over the last several years, talent, capital, consumer and enterprise attention have focused on the promise of bringing connected devices to all activities of daily living, and the automobile is an exciting new frontier. There are 250M passenger vehicles in the US, and American families spend on average $3,500 on fuel, maintenance, insurance and repairs annually, which represents a large opportunity for savings based on better driving data and targeted services.
Comcast Ventures joins new investors USAA and CDK Global in Automatic Labs’ $24M Series B round of funding. Automatic’s existing investors include RPM Ventures, Y Combinator, and prominent angel investors.
Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing their smartphone app and in-car device, drivers enhance their driving experience with a host of connected services on the Automatic platform. Co-founder and CEO, Thejo Kote started Automatic four years ago with the vision of bringing the power of connectivity and apps to every car on the road. Their first product, the Link, plugs into a vehicle’s onboard computer via a diagnostics port available in all automobiles manufactured since 1996. Drivers can use Automatic to access apps designed for roadside assistance, safety, fuel savings, intelligent parking and entertainment. Enterprise customers also use Automatic to price usage-based-insurance, manage fleets and dealer lots real time, as well as deliver better customer service.
"We’re excited to have the support of Gavin and Michael and the rest of Comcast Ventures team as they bring valuable insights and relationships from across the Internet of Things landscape. They’ve helped us engage with key connected home partners such as Comcast’s Xfinity Home," said CEO and co-founder Thejo Kote. "Our mission is to transform the car ownership experience by enabling the world’s developers to build the best apps and services for any car."
In addition to Comcast Ventures’ investment, Comcast Corporation announced in May that Xfinity Home is supporting several devices including Automatic, to give customers more options to personalize and control their smart home experience.
Automatic’s Link product is available at major retailers such as Amazon, Apple and Best Buy for $99.