Car IQ, the first payment solution developed specifically for fleet vehicles, today announced it has raised $15 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Forté Ventures. Other new investors Ally Ventures, BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB), State Farm Ventures®, and TELUS Ventures joined existing investors Alpana Ventures, Avanta Ventures, Citi Ventures, Quest Venture Partners, and Scrum Ventures.
Car IQ’s contactless payment network allows connected cars and trucks to pay merchants and service providers without a credit card. With Car IQ, vehicles can pay for a wide variety of services including fueling, tolling, parking, and more without needing to add extra hardware to the vehicle.
Car IQ’s patent-pending “Know Your Machine℠” technology is accepted by payment networks and is the foundation for the first machine payment network that uniquely authenticates vehicles, enabling direct vehicle-initiated transactions and payments.
Car IQ is targeting the ~$650 billion spent annually on vehicle services using credit cards, debit cards, and ACH, where people must perform and manage the transaction. Existing payment methods are costly, difficult to reconcile, and prone to fraud. Customers cannot authenticate the actual vehicle, the service needs of the vehicle, or validate that the vehicle received a billed-for service. This creates security risks for the fleet operator, merchant, and payment network.
Transactions on Car IQ’s payment network have security elements built into the payment stream and are supported by patent-pending technology that enables banks and merchants to authorize vehicle purchases of all types of services autonomously. The vehicle’s ability to pay for and validate transactions is based on a unique machine identity verification process called “Know Your Machine℠,” that eliminates the need for human use of credit cards to process the billions spent each year on fleet vehicle services.
“Our solution introduces the next generation of contactless payments, taking the logical step of connecting machines directly to banks and service providers and eliminating legacy processes that are difficult to manage or result in fraud. We believe machine banking is the future, where not just vehicles but any IoT device will be able to connect and pay autonomously—and it’s our technology that will make it possible,” said Sterling Pratz, CEO of Car IQ.
“Car IQ is already working with a number of the largest merchants, payment providers, OEMs, and fleet owners. Our investment will allow them to significantly broaden these relationships, expand into new markets, and add features that will significantly enhance the value of the offering. We believe that machine payments will become increasingly important, and will expand well beyond the initial focus on vehicles,” said Louis Rajczi, Partner at Forté Ventures.
About Car IQ:
Car IQ is the first payment solution developed for vehicles and fleets that enables vehicles to transact directly, securely and autonomously with merchants. Car IQ’s vehicle payment solution is aimed at driving ease of use and simplicity for customers. The payment solution replaces incumbent fleet card products and protects against fraud, while eliminating tedious back-office vehicle reconciliation for fleets. These payments deliver value by reducing fraud risk for both the fleet and participating merchants.
About Forté Ventures:
Forté Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital firm that collaborates and co-invests with corporate strategic partners in technology companies across diversified industry sectors throughout the U.S. and Canada. Focus areas include Information Technology, Insurance Tech, Financial Tech, On-Demand Tech/Services, Mobility, IoT, Cybersecurity, and Industrial Technology. Initial investments typically include participation from leading corporate strategic partners as co-investors. Forté Ventures has offices in Atlanta and Silicon Valley. For more information please visit www.forteventures.com.
About TELUS Ventures
As the strategic investment arm of TELUS Corporation (TSX: T, NYSE: TU), TELUS Ventures is one of Canada’s most active corporate venture capital funds. TELUS Ventures invests globally in companies from Seed to Pre-IPO with a focus on innovative technologies such as AgTech, HealthTech, Connected Consumer, IoT, AI, and Security to actively drive new solutions across the TELUS ecosystem. Led by a team of experienced operators, investors and executives, the Ventures team is passionate about creating positive social impact through financial tools and has invested in more than 90 companies since inception. For more information please visit ventures.telus.com.