Mobility and roadside assistance startup Urgent.ly bags $21 million investment from Porsche, BMW and Jaguar
Urgent.ly, the mobility and roadside assistance startup, has just received a $21 million is Series B funding to fuel world-class customer experience for present and future mobility. The top three auto companies, BMW i Ventures; InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital fund; and Porsche Ventures, participated in the oversubscribed funding round.
Global automotive and new mobility companies are increasingly designing and marketing more transportation options with varying tasks, sizes and complexity. This level of innovation will render traditional roadside assistance obsolete, evolving into mobility assistance that can service today’s vehicles as well as fleets of the future that will include electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, micro-mobility vehicles, drones, robotic delivery and more.
Founded in 2013 by Chris Spanos, Lokesh Kumar, Luke Kathol, Ric Fleisher, Rick Robinson, and Surendra Goel, The Vienna, Virginia-based Urgent.ly is the only global digital roadside assistance platform that provides Roadside as a Service. The company is reinventing the roadside assistance market for premier global automotive, insurance, mapping, and parking brands as well as roadside assistance professionals and consumers. Its solution delivers the quickest, safest and most innovative roadside assistance service, products and technology by combining location-based services, real-time data, AI and machine-to-machine communication. This means that, from the very beginning, the customer is provided with transparency regarding the location (exact to the second) and the expected arrival time of the roadside assistance provider.
Urgent.ly’s platform powers roadside assistance solutions in North America, Europe and Asia for leading brands across the automotive, insurance, telematics and other transportation-focused verticals. In the USA, more than half of all roadside assistance providers are already connected to the platform, which serves around 45,000 networked vehicles.
“The old model of roadside assistance must make way for a modern, more digital approach,” said Kasper Sage, Partner, BMW i Ventures. “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 ride-sharing. Urgent.ly enables unparalleled transparency connecting dealerships, OEMs, providers and customers in real time, with actionable data-driven insights to optimize the experience along every step of the way.”
Separately, BMW Group has also recently selected Urgent.ly to work together with the BMW ConnectedDrive Customer Interaction Center (BMW Assist) as the vendor partner to provide roadside assistance and extended mobility services to owners of all four of its brands in the U.S.: BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
“Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations,” says Kilian Sauerwald, Director Aftersales Region and Market Development at Porsche. “The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment.”
“The support of our investors confirms our strategy and business model. We are aiming to create a range of services for the mobility and roadside assistance industry which meets the expectations and requirements of our customers,” says Chris Spanos, CEO and co-founder of Urgent.ly. “We look forward to continuing to advance our connected services across the global automotive, insurance and mobility markets.”
Porsche Ventures seeks strategic investments in business models relating to the customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle, as well as in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality. Through its venture capital activities, the sports car manufacturer Porsche invests in new companies that are in the early and growth phases.
Amongst the latest investments there has been the Berlin-based startup Gapless. Their blockchain-based solution allows customers to digitally manage their vintage vehicles, including the entire history, and to share it with other users in a forgery-proof way. Porsche also holds shares in the fast-growing Swiss technology company WayRay. This startup develops and produces holographic augmented reality head-up display technologies and is working on the ability to seamlessly integrate virtual objects into the driving experience. Porsche also has invested in the startups Anagog, Miles and home-iX, as well as technology and sports car company Rimac.