Connected car startup Vinli aims to connect vehicles to the cloud and is today announcing a change in its business model as it partners with the largest fleet operator in Europe, ALD Automotive.
Vinli launched in 2014 as a direct consumer company that allowed owners to add cloud services to automobiles. It was a clever concept, and when it launched four years ago, it was ahead of the curve. The company went on to raise to $6.5M through four rounds of funding, slowly evolving the product to meet the changing needs of the market.
Today, the company is announcing a change in focus and will no longer sell products directly to consumers. The company founder and CEO Mark Haider tells TechCrunch this is in response to the product’s evolution, which can now offer enterprises a platform for them to launch their own mobility applications directly to their users.
Vinli is discontinuing the production of its hardware and will work with partners to offer the same services to consumers.
To go along with this new business strategy, Vinli is launching a data platform that Haider tells me can ingest data from any source and correlate it with machine learning and AI, allowing customers to develop predictive services for their products. Called Era, Vinli believes this will enable its customers to mine trends from data without the need of data scientists.
Vinli signed a deal with ALD Automotive to add its connected services to its fleets of 1.6 million vehicles. In a press release, ALD Automotive says Vinli will enrich ALD’s “overall service offering and develop new value-added solutions to improve both driver experience and optimize overall Total Cost of Ownership for efficient fleet management.”
“We believe that the automotive industry is evolving to become a service-based and subscription-driven industry,” said Mark Haidar, CEO of Vinli. “Connected cars and data are at the epicenter of this change. Collecting, analyzing, and discovering trends from ALD’s 1.6 million vehicles will not only be transformative to the driver but to the industry as a whole”
Terms of the partnership were not released.
Connecting vehicles to the cloud has significant implications as car makers, insurers and consumers alike can gain deep insights into the habits of the driver and mechanics of the car throughout its life. Vinli seems well positioned to offer a platform to provide this data and today’s moves should help the company into the future.