Venture capital has been flowing to startups and fast-growth technology companies in transportation, but few transactions compare to one that took place in December 2018.
An early pioneer of telematics for behavior-based insurance, Boston-based Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) received a half-billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund.
CMT was founded in 2010 by two full-time MIT professors, Hari Balakrishnan and Sam Madden, who decided to spin off a product that originated from a project they did for the National Science Foundation.
The science project used sensor data from cell phones installed in Boston taxi cabs to detect the locations and severity of potholes on city roads. The professors saw a bigger opportunity to use smartphone and sensor data to identify and improve risky driving behaviors.
In 2012, CMT released DriveWell, a consumer-oriented product aimed at usage-based insurance companies. Today, DriveWell has millions of users through CMT’s partnerships with insurance companies such as State Farm and Liberty Mutual.