Zendrive raises $1.5M to monitor driving habits

Faith Merino · August 29, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/31a8

Zendrive lets you earn rewards for safe driving

There are plenty of punishments dished out for bad driving, but of course they’re all contingent on whether or not you get caught. Speeding, tailgating, rolling through stop signs—you can get away with all of those if done correctly. What we need are incentives for good driving, and one new app, Zendrive, might just be able to deliver that.

Driving safety monitoring app Zendrive announced Thursday that it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from First Round Capital, Max Levchin, Jerry Yang, Tim Ferriss, and others.

“No one has done a good job at measuring and pulling insights for road behavior. Surprisingly, this activity we undertake almost every day lies in the dark. Zendrive is going to make this valuable data available for the first time,” said founder Jonathan Matus.

Though not yet available, Zendrive is a free mobile app that uses your iPhone to sense acceleration, speed location, and direction to determine how safely you’re driving.

Drivers who practice safe driving habits could be on the receiving end of a number of small and large rewards, from free dessert at a local eatery to assistance on reducing your auto insurance rate. For example, if you’ve ever been in an accident—even if you weren’t at fault—you can easily see your auto insurance climb to astronomical proportions. But if you can prove that you practice safe driving habits or that you’ve corrected your driving habits, you have better leverage to lobby for reduced rates.

Matus says that Zendrive has been getting a lot of interest from insurance companies who want to partner with the startup.

All that data will give you better insights into your own driving, which will help you make other driving-related decisions. Matus says the app can use your data to improve your daily commute, alert you to road conditions, and minimize your time spent in traffic.

It can even use your driving patterns to help you choose the right car. For example, let’s say you’re expecting your first child.

“Which family car to upgrade to is a big question. With the proper understanding of your driving history, we can help you choose your ideal family-friendly car, based on your driving patterns, needs and the choices and preferences of similar drivers,” said Matus.

At present, there are plenty of driving safety apps that focus primarily on preventing teens from texting and driving, but there are a few, like DriveScribe and Safe Driver, that monitor location and speed.

The company plans to use the new seed capital to boost its hiring efforts.  


Image source: gearheads.org

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