BUMP.com, a social network for your car (and so much more), has completed a $1.2 million Series B-1 round from Wilson Sonsini Investment Co., DLA Piper Venture Fund, Hany & Summer Girgis and others. The company closed its oversubscribed $1 million Series A round last October backed by J Christopher Capital, Zig Capital, Anduin Ventures and HI7E.
The money’s still flowing too: founder and CEO Mitch Thrower says the company has already started raising a B-2 round from several A and B-1 investors.
Along with the new funding, BUMP (no, not that one) has launched its very first Android app, available now as a free install. The app lets users send and receive messages to and from any license plate number by simply typing in the number and typing or speaking a message. In a perfect world, users might fire up the app to alert other drivers of problems with their car, like if their tail light is out. Or, in a more realistic world, people might use the app to politely inform somebody that it’s not nice to cut drivers off.
But the possibilities are pretty endless. And this first-generation mobile app only scratches the surface of what Thrower has planned for the service.
In the next month, updates coming to BUMP include the ability to see where your car has been, an automatically generated pool of photos of the car, integration with the AMBER Alert system, integration with an earthquake alert system and more. Additionally, future mobile apps from BUMP will be able to identify a license plate number just by having the camera pointed at the car’s plate.
“The vision of BUMP is not just this disruptive license plate/communication platform, or 'Facebook for your car' as the news calls it,” explained Thrower. He also wants to help users “own and control all transactions associated with their vehicle as well as associated membership fees.”
BUMP’s working on white-labeled membership cards for managing transactions and registrations, which could be for anything from insurance to deals at retail establishments. That’s the other big draw of BUMP: its marketing potential. For example, in La Jolla, the sunny southern California seaside community BUMP calls home, a museum cafe might decide to message discounts to every single car driving down a certain street, just by snapping their license plates.
You could also imagine parents using BUMP to keep watch over their children or taxi fleet operators doing the same for their drivers.
iPhone users itching to message drivers on the road will have to wait until at least early May, when Thrower says BUMP plans to submit the app to Apple. In the meantime, there’s similar app Plateside, which BUMP acquired in February, and Platester, which BUMP just acquired recently.