May 19, 2020

BMW, Porsche and Jaguar invest $21mn in roadside assistance startup Urgent.ly

AAA
BMW
Porsche
Urgent.ly
hotmaillogin
2 min
BMW, Porsche and Jaguar invest $21mn in roadside assistance startup Urgent.ly

Roadside assistance app creator Urgent.ly has reportedly raised US$21mn in funding, following investments by leading automakers BMW, Prsche and Jaguar, the Washington Business Journal reports.

The investment was delivered through BMW i Ventures, Porsche Ventures and InMotion Ventures, the venture capital fund Jaguar and Land Rover. The funding round more than doubles Urgent.ly’s investment to date, which totalled $18.7mn. The startup reported an annual run rate of $50mn after a year characterized by dramatic growth.

The roadside assistance market is valued at $10bn per year and is currently dominated by legacy roadside assistance companies like AAA and Allstate. Urgent.ly, according to the Washington Business Journal, is attempting to disrupt and democratize the roadside assistance industry using a similar model to that used by unicorn startups Uber and Lyft to revolutionize the ride-sharing sector.

“The old model of roadside assistance must make way for a modern, more digital approach,” BMW i Ventures Partner Kasper Sage said in a press release, adding that Urgent.ly will allow car companies "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."

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Urgent.ly is based in Vienna, Virginia. The company’s app connects its users with roadside assistance providers paid for directly through the app. According to a report by the Washington Post: “After receiving vehicle information and a description of the problem from a MapQuest user, Urgent.ly hones in on the driver’s location and connects the stranded motorist to a nearby service provider. Users can track the service provider’s progress on a map, along with an estimated arrival time.”

“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 atUrgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT

HOOPP
Checkpoint
3 min
Erez Yarkoni, Global VP, explains how a three-way partnership between Check Point, HOOPP, and Microsoft is yielding optimum cloud security

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.

“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.

Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:

  • Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
  • CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
  • Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data

 

However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”

In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies. 

The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help. 

“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”

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