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SoftBank Vision Fund Backs Cambridge Mobile Telematics in $500M Round

February 7, 2019

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) has secured a $500 million investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund. This investment will accelerate the adoption of CMT’s successful DriveWell platform used by insurers, fleets, wireless carriers, and other entities to measure driving risk and improve driver safety. It will also fuel CMT’s growth in automated crash and claims management, video analytics, and safety for emerging vehicle and mobility systems. The investment is subject to regulatory approval.

Drawing on numerous innovations in mobile sensing, artificial intelligence (AI), and behavioral science, CMT has become the market leader in mobile telematics. Today, CMT works with customers in more than 20 countries, accurately measuring driving performance for insurance pricing, providing incentives to improve driving quality, and lowering operating costs by reducing crash rates and automating some claims processing functions. CMT’s partners include leading insurers such as State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Desjardins, Discovery, Admiral, MS&AD Group, QBE, AIG, and Insurance Australia Group, yielding a global customer base of several million users.

“CMT is breaking new ground in the application of telematics, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to solve challenging problems in insurance and safety,” said Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “CMT is uniquely positioned to help insurers develop the insights to better support customers and advance their operations, while promoting long-term improvements in driving standards around the world.”

“Over the past few years, the DriveWell platform has helped make roads safer by making drivers better in a world where crashes are rising due to factors like distracted driving,” said Hari Balakrishnan, CMT’s Chairman and CTO, who founded CMT with Bill Powers (CEO) and Sam Madden (Chief Scientist). “Our rapid growth has been fueled by a culture that values collaboration with our customers and invests in research to improve our solutions and develop new products. This partnership with the Vision Fund is the start of the next stage of our journey to bring safe mobility solutions for people and goods at massive scale.”

CMT has pioneered many innovations since its inception, in 2010, from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. CMT deployed the first service to efficiently gather and process sensory data from phones for auto insurance (2012), use phone sensors to measure phone distraction (2013), and induce better driving with gamification (2014). Together, these innovations created the category of “behavior-based insurance”, also known as “mobile usage-based insurance”. Results from the field are compelling: the driving feedback, rewards, and contests delivered via the DriveWell platform reduce phone distraction by 35% on average with 30 days, and at-risk speeding and hard braking by 20%. These improvements lead to significant measurable reductions in crashes and insurance claims.

CMT’s DriveWell Tag, invented in 2014, was the first fully wireless “Internet of Things” (IoT) device to measure vehicle dynamics for actuarial scoring and for real-time impact alerts with roadside assistance; in 2018, CMT shipped its 6 millionth Tag. Since 2016, CMT has introduced new services for crash reconstruction and loss notification with telematics data, dashcam video analytics for risk scoring, fleet features for commercial insurance, and best-in-class risk scoring models. These models enable insurers to accurately price risk using telematics data and have been approved by several regulators.

CMT’s progress has been widely recognized by many independent experts. In October, CMT was named the market leader in mobile usage-based insurance by Ptolemus, a research firm focused on connected mobility and IoT. In June, DriveWell was named the Best Auto Digital Insurance Product by TU-Automotive Detroit. CMT’s insurance technology solutions have also won multiple awards from Celent, Gartner, and Digital Insurance.

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