Fleet payment startup Car IQ raised $15 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round led by Forté Ventures, according to a press release on Wednesday (Aug. 11).
Participants in the funding round also included new backers Ally Ventures, BlackBerry Limited, State Farm Ventures and TELUS Ventures, along with existing investors Alpana Ventures, Avanta Ventures, Citi Ventures, Quest Venture Partners and Scrum Ventures.
Car IQ offers a contactless payment scheme that enables connected vehicles to pay for goods and services on the road — gas, tolls and parking, for example — without the need for a physical credit or debit card or additional hardware.
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“Our solution introduces the next generation of contactless payments, taking the logical step of connecting machines directly to banks and service providers and eliminating legacy processes that are difficult to manage or result in fraud,” Car IQ CEO Sterling Pratz said.
“We believe machine banking is the future, where not just vehicles but any IoT device will be able to connect and pay autonomously — and it’s our technology that will make it possible,” he added.
Car IQ’s patent-pending technology, Know Your Machine, is already being accepted by numerous payment networks. The company’s software has enabled the first machine payment network with the ability to authenticate cars and trucks for vehicle-initiated payments, according to the press release.
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Car IQ’s secure payment network ensures the safety of transactions while autonomously authorizing and processing payments for all types of spends that drivers encounter.
Louis Rajczi, a partner at Forté Ventures, said that Car IQ is working with numerous big merchants as well as payment providers, fleet owners and more.
“Our investment will allow them to significantly broaden these relationships, expand into new markets and add features that will significantly enhance the value of the offering. We believe that machine payments will become increasingly important, and will expand well beyond the initial focus on vehicles,” Rajczi said.