Car Tech Startup Drivemode Sees $6.5M Series A

Mobile-based automotive tech startup Drivemode just announced the close of a $6.5 million Series A funding round led by Panasonic Corporation.

Other investors in Drivemode’s Series A included Miyako Capital and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, among others. Miyako Capital’s Managing Director Sunny Sugaya will also reportedly step into a leadership role on Drivemode’s board of directors.

To date, Drivemode has raised a total of $9.15 million in three venture funding rounds.

Founded in 2014, Drivemode’s mobile-based connected car platform allowS users to access music, navigation features, calls and texts hands-free via the Android mobile app. As of today, Drivemode has an active user base in 180 countries worldwide with over one million app downloads.

“We’re lucky to have found such dedicated backers who have demonstrated a clear commitment to ushering in a new era where anybody with a smartphone can benefit from connected car features,” said Drivemode CEO Yo Koga.

Drivemode will use the Series A funds to accelerate the development of new products, as well as to expand their global team. Additionally, the tech startup says it will focus on increasing partnerships with content and service providers to deliver new features.

“In a new era where a significant portion of drivers rely on smartphones, our products need to evolve as fast as smartphone technologies do,” said Susumu Ibaraki, director of the Automotive Business Development Center at Panasonic. “That’s why Drivemode’s ability to understand driver behavior on a global scale and offer new solutions in real time have unparalleled potential in the rapidly changing automotive industry.”

Features Drivemode reportedly has in the works for drivers include parking reservations and roadside assistance functionalities. The startup also looks to innovate as a means to enable automakers building next generation car connectivity solutions.

Drivemode already has ties with Honda. The startup’s technology reportedly plays a central role in Honda’s Silicon Valley Innovation Lab’s connected car integration.


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