Funding from TwinFocus Capital Partners, InMotion Ventures, Road Ventures, Pareto Holdings and Quiet Capital, and, alongside notable angels, sets up vehicle management startup to expand product offerings and grow team
Caura – a vehicle management platform which eliminates the avoidable hassle, stress, and expenses associated with driving in the UK, has raised $4.2 million to expand its products, including a new B2B offering for car manufacturers.
The funding round was led by TwinFocus Capital Partners, with participation from InMotion Ventures (the CVC arm of Jaguar Land Rover), Road Ventures, Pareto Holdings and Quiet Capital. Notable angels also joined, including Jon Oringer, founder of Shutterstock, Antony Sheriff, former CEO of McLaren Automotive, and Rob Wilmot, serial entrepreneur, investor, and advisor to the UK Government. Unnamed Apple and Google executives also joined the round.
Founded by Dr Sai Lakshmi, the former Apple exec who also founded Echo, Caura allows users to simply input their vehicle’s registration number to automatically set up payments for services such as city congestion charges, tolls, tax, MOT and insurance. The app, which launched in 2020, is currently available on iOS, where it is used by tens of thousands of car owners across the UK and has an App Store rating of 4.8/5.
New Caura products set to launch in 2021 include:
- Native “vehicle companion apps”, embedding Caura’s platform into vehicle infotainment systems alongside maps, communications, and entertainment, enabling car owners to manage all aspects of car-related payments and administration directly while onboard
- Android and web apps that enable drivers to manage every aspect of their car admin and payments from all major platforms
- Continuous development of features and functionality to better manage parking, tolls, congestion charges, MOT, and insurance, including now serving Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ)
- Plans for the future include re-introducing payments for parking and offering electric charging
Sebastian Peck, Managing Director at Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, said: “In-car infotainment systems are currently primarily used for entertainment, communication, and navigation in our Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. We are really excited about the prospect of seamlessly integrating the Caura platform offering in-car payment for parking, tolls, tax, and congestion, which would be a huge benefit to our customers. We are thrilled to back the Caura team’s vision of delivering a digital ownership experience that is setting a new benchmark for the industry.”
Hari Hundle, Managing Partner at TwinFocus Capital, said: “Caura has brought a convenient way for drivers to be compliant and insured into the hands of thousands of Britons. By bringing the systems to users across platforms we are excited to see how this app can change the way drivers buy insurance.”
Dr Sai Lakshmi, CEO and founder of Caura, said: “Our goal was to create a single app from which Britain’s 30 million drivers could manage every aspect of their vehicle’s management and maintenance, from MOT to tax to parking. Drivers today have dozens of single-use apps to manage this functionality, and since launch in 2020, we have demonstrated Caura’s value and benefits for tens of thousands of UK drivers. This funding will enable us to realise our vision and expand to all drivers with native in-car systems, starting with Jaguar Land Rover, and for Android and web users as well.”
The Android app will be available in June 2021, and the web app is available now at app.caura.com.
Caura, founded in 2019 and launched in 2020, manages every aspect of car ownership: tolls, MOT, road tax, car insurance, and congestion charges. Caura eliminates the avoidable hassle, stress and expenses associated with driving in the UK. Caura is available on iOS now, and will be available on Android in the coming year.
Existing products already available with Caura
- Caura Protect – Caura’s FCA-authorised insurance proposition allows drivers to manage their insurance cover, right from the app. So far the business has signed up eight insurance partners including Aviva, Ageas, ERS, LV=, Markerstudy, Premier, Southern Rock and Sabre giving the business an extremely wide underwriting footprint taking InsurTech into the mainstream. The business has plans to enhance its insurance offering by developing its in-app tech for MTAs and claims management.
- Caura Drive – Caura Drive originally enabled users to pay for London’s Congestion Charge, ULEZ Charge and Dartford Crossing and the business recently added the ability to pay for Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone. The business has plans to integrate all UK toll roads and city tolls onto it’s platform to enable drivers to pay for all these services in just a couple of taps. In addition the platform allows drivers to get reminders for road tax (which can be paid from within the platform) and MOT. Future plans include parking, maintenance and electric vehicle support.