DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vinli, Inc., developer of a connected car platform providing applications and services for consumers, developers, and distributors, announced today that it has completed a $6.5 million Series A financing led by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation. Cox Automotive, The Westly Group, and Continental also participated in the round. The financing will help the company aggressively grow its sales through distribution partners, expand its partnerships with key players in the automobile and technology industry, and fuel engineering and R&D of its connected car platform, including the growth of solution partners developing and integrating data for Vinli users. Director of Strategic Investments at Samsung Global Innovation Center, Luis Arbulu, and Vice President of New Ventures for Cox Automotive, David Liniado, will join Vinli’s Board of Directors.
Vinli provides the most advanced connected car device and platform in the marketplace, enabling consumers to create a truly customized in-car experience with the industry’s fastest mobile WiFi and the marketplace’s most diverse and comprehensive App Store. “We believe Vinli will change how people interact with their cars on a day-to-day basis by making cars smarter, safer and more enjoyable,” says Mark Haidar, CEO of Vinli. “We are honored to be partnering with one of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies, Samsung; one of the largest auto suppliers, Continental; one of the largest car ownership companies, Cox Automotive; and one of Tesla’s early investors, The Westly Group. This diverse group of auto and technology industry leaders believe in our vision and will help us accelerate and shape the future of the connected car.”
“Vinli is focused on bringing the most personalized, best driving experience possible to modern drivers, one that enables smooth connectivity to their favorite apps," said Luis Arbulu, Director of Strategic Investments at Samsung Global Innovation Center. “We are excited about Vinli’s innovative technology and look forward to welcoming the team to the Samsung family.”
“We are proud to support Vinli as it debuts in the automotive marketplace," said David Liniado, vice president of new ventures for Cox Automotive. “At Cox Automotive, we align with brands that innovate, inspire and deliver a key consumer or industry need, and we are confident Vinli will become an essential function in the automotive technology space.”
In the US alone, more than 253 million cars are on the road with an average age of 11 years. Closed and fragmented systems make it challenging and expensive for developers to develop an application without considerable investment or partnership with a manufacturer or communications network. With Vinli’s advanced hardware and open platform, developers can create applications and solutions that work on over 700 million vehicles around the world. Vinli then connects the driver to comprehensive apps, Internet, and services, and finally, puts the data in the hands of the consumers in a fast and secure way.
“We are excited about Vinli and their approach to the trillion-dollar global auto industry. The connected car industry is made up of some of the biggest players in the world, and Vinli has already seen incredible momentum with market leaders,” says Steve Westly, managing partner at The Westly Group. “The investment will put the company and team in a position to emerge as a platform leader and provide technology innovation opportunities to both the traditional industry experts as well as emerging technology providers.”
“As a leading global automotive systems supplier, Continental's collaboration with Vinli is an important step in extending our platform development beyond the connected vehicle to providing intelligent software services which consumers will find highly attractive and useful, as well as driving the vehicle to become the central hub in the Internet of Everything,” says Seval Oz, CEO of Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems, LLC.
The Series A funding announcement follows the announcement of Vinli’s pre-ordering campaign, and partnership with the nation’s fastest 4G LTE carrier, T-Mobile. Vinli was born out of Dialexa Labs in Dallas, Texas. Since their debut at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2014, Vinli has been improving product development, reducing hardware costs, and expanding its universal App Store for the car through partnerships with solution providers including SmartThings, Dash, MileIQ, ParkHub, SafeDrive, and Flo. Vinli will be giving consumers access to more than 150 apps to be submitted to its App Store after launch. The manufacturing process for the Vinli device is underway, with the first units expected to ship in August 2015.
To pre-order the Vinli device, please visit http://get.vin.li.
Vinli is a connected car platform that enables developers to create applications and services for consumers. Vinli provides the most advanced connected car device in market that provides a WiFi hotspot and a universal suite of Apps and Services for all car makes and models. Vinli is based in Dallas, TX.
About Samsung Venture Investment Corporation
Samsung Venture Investment Corporation is the Venture Capital arm of the Samsung Group with offices in Seoul, Silicon Valley, Boston, Israel, London and Tokyo.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive is a leading provider of vehicle remarketing services and digital marketing and software solutions for automotive dealers and consumers. Cox Automotive, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, includes Manheim, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, vAuto, NextGear Capital, and a host of global businesses and brands serving customers such as auto dealers, manufacturers and financial institutions. Headquartered in Atlanta, Cox Automotive employs nearly 24,000 employees in over 150 locations worldwide. The company partners with more than 40,000 dealers, as well as most major automobile manufacturers, and touches over 67 percent of all car buyers in the U.S. with the most recognized brands in the industry. Cox Automotive unites more than 20 brands in this space, providing an end-to-end solution to transform the way people buy and sell cars every day.
About The Westly Group
The Westly Group is one of the largest clean technology-oriented venture capital firms in the U.S., with $300 million of assets under management. The firm invests broadly across cleantech, sustainability, the sharing economy, and the Internet of Things. We have blue chip investors including Citibank, E.ON, and the SK Group. Three of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public on NASDAQ, including Tesla Motors.
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2014, the corporation generated sales of approximately €34.5 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs approximately 200,000 people in 53 countries. Information management in and beyond the vehicle is at the very heart of the Interior division. The product portfolio for different types of vehicles includes: instrument clusters, multifunctional and head-up displays, control units, access control and tire-information systems, radios, infotainment systems, input devices, control panels, climate control units, software, cockpits as well as services and solutions for telematics and Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Interior division employs more than 36,000 people worldwide and generated preliminary sales of approximately €7 billion in 2014.
About Dialexa Labs
Dialexa Labs is an innovation and development platform for bold, new ideas. This is a self-funded venture lab created inside of Dialexa, a creative product development company. Dialexa Labs brings resources and an A-Team to solve complex and interesting problems. The idea behind Dialexa Labs is to explore new concepts and technologies, allowing the most promising to spin out as independent companies. For more information visit www.dialexa.com.