Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has signed an agreement to use Israeli startup Otonomo's data collection platform in select models in Europe.
The platform connects automakers holding troves of new vehicular data with third parties that could buy the information and find novel uses for it.
The partnership marks Otonomo's third with an automaker in 2020 and ninth overall. Otonomo's platform now ingests data from roughly 25 million vehicles across those nine partnerships, according to the company's founder and CEO Ben Volkow.
Those vehicles can provide as many as 180 data points every five seconds, and the breadth and volume is giving the company newfound visibility among third parties interested in utilizing that data.
By 2019, Volkow said 64 companies had joined the platform to use that data to provide services for electric vehicles, preventive maintenance, usage-based insurance, emergency services, parking and more. So far this year, he says the number of third parties using the data is "in the low hundreds."
"It's because we have more data, because we are better, because we have a mature ecosystem," Volkow said.
Investors have noticed.
Otonomo raised $46 million in a Series C funding round that closed at the end of April. Korean IT company SK holdings led the round, and Bessemer Venture Partners, Avis Budget Group and Alliance Ventures also participated.
Given the timing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Volkow viewed the fresh funding as a vote of confidence. Overall, Otonomo has raised $89 million since its inception.
Volkow estimates Otonomo extracts more than half of its data from vehicles in Europe, where the European Union's stringent privacy laws have sent automakers such as Daimler and BMW searching for help in ensuring they comply with the laws and ensure customer privacy.
Otonomo's data-services platform applies a blurring technique to incoming data that strips identifying information from data and gives customers the means to opt in or out of particular services.
But Volkow expects business to increase elsewhere, including with FCA, though details of an expanded partnership are not yet final.
"The momentum is moving faster and faster," he said. "Initially, some of the OEMs wanted to do things on their own. It took them about a year and a half to say, 'You know what? Maybe it makes sense to do some of these things with partners.' "