Vimcar receives Germany’s largest connected car investment to date
The Berlin-based automotive startup scores over $5.5 million in financing, making this Germany’s highest-ever early-stage investment in the connected car industry. But that’s not all: Vimcar is now also supported by renowned investors.
Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners and Coparion are investing as part of a series A financing round in the “digital fleet manager”. Additionally, the French Groupe Arnault joined in on the surprise success from Berlin.
Berlin – 6 April, 2017. Launched at the end of 2014 in Berlin, Vimcar has now successfully completed a Series A financing round with both new and old investors participating. Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners – the investment branch of Munich-based UnternehmerTUM – and Coparion led the round for the connected car startup that focuses on business cars.
Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners and UnternehmerTUM seem to continue their bet on mobility, with previous investments including Europe’s newborn bus giant Flixbus and the recent launch of the Digital Hub Mobility in Munich (in cooperation with the German government and industry partners such as Audi, BMW, Daimler and SAP). The second lead investor, Coparion, manages one of Germany’s biggest venture capital funds totalling 225 million Euros. Other investors included the French Groupe Arnault and various business angels.
The startup will use the new funds to broaden their product offering: Vimcar entered and quickly captured the market with a mileage tracking service, but now plans to automate further processes around business vehicles. Managing Director Christian Siewek: “We are focussing on companies that do not have the time or resources to manage their fleet efficiently or even at all. We are aiming at providing a digital fleet manager – a highly-integrated one-stop application – that takes over all relevant tasks in a manner that is also conscious of data privacy concerns. On top of mileage tracking we now have the funds to tackle additional topics such as fuel cards, tire management, driving licences and leasing contracts.” Vimcar has not only managed to win over large cooperation partners like Haufe Lexware (German market leaders for SMB accounting software), DATEV and Media Markt, but is also trusted by over 5,000 companies already. From a technological viewpoint, the solution is based on an aftermarket OBDII-adapter that plugs into the diagnostic port of a vehicle. An integrated SIM-card allows for real-time availability of processed car data provided to Vimcar’s own driver and fleet manager apps (available for iOS, Android, web) as well as third-party applications directly. In the future, the goal is to collect the necessary data not only through aftermarket hardware, but also directly from the cars that have a SIM-card installed and come with an API for third-party applications like Vimcar. In comparison to other fleet management software on the market, Vimcar comes with a consumer-grade user experience: very simple screens and interactions make it extremely easy to use – which seems especially interesting for the underserved SMB market with its high potential for growth.
Company information Vimcar:
Vimcar has quickly grown to be a surprising success story within the multi-billion connected car industry. The Berlin-based startup first launched a mileage tracking application at the end of 2014 which is now in use by over 5,000 companies. Vimcar was founded by Andreas Schneider, Christian Siewek and Lukas Weber, while starting capital was provided by Christophe Maire (Atlantic Labs). Maire himself founded gate5, the company which later turned into Here (Nokia) and then was sold to the automotive industry. During a research project at the University of St. Gallen (CH) on behalf of a German car manufacturer, the founders realised that the industry is facing a digital “fleet dilemma.” Almost every fleet consists of cars from different brands, meaning that a digital solution would inevitably have to work across all manufacturers – a challenge that seems hard to solve. With their OBD hardware Vimcar offers a universal add-on that can be plugged into the car´s diagnostic port regardless of the cars make. Since its launch, the startup has connected ten’s of thousands of cars and grew by approximately 300% in 2016. Among the cooperation partners are the German Association of Tax Advisors (Deutscher Steuerberaterverband), DATEV, Haufe-Lexware (German market leaders for SMB accounting software) and Media Markt (Europe’s largest electronics retailer).
Company information coparion:
coparion provides venture capital to accelerate momentum and growth. With a current active fund of 225 million Euros coparion has the means to do so. coparion supports entrepreneurial vision with know-how, but without intervening in daily business operations. Thanks to in-depth experience in venture capital and in building companies, the coparion team discerns potentials and opens up new perspectives. coparion has the substance, tenacity and creativity required to mutually manage difficult situations successfully. coparion only invests with co-investors. The fund invests up to 10 million Euros per company, usually in several financing rounds of 0.5-3 million Euros each. Investment focus is on German companies in the startup and early growth phase. coparion is based in Cologne and Berlin.
Company information Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners:
Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners (UVC) is an early-stage fund investing in new businesses with innovative technologies and international market potential. UVC focuses on Industrial Technologies & Smart Enterprises with a preference for B2B business models. Even though UVC is fully independent it can leverage the overall UnternehmerTUM ecosystem to support its portfolio companies. UnternehmerTUM is the largest German innovation and entrepreneurship centre and is partnering with many leading German corporates, universities as well as research institutes.