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."
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.”