Citi Ventures invests in vehicle payments startup Car IQ

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Vehicle payment technology startup Car IQ raised $5 million in a Series A funding round that included Citi Ventures as an investor.

The Series A round was led by Quest Venture Partners and included Avanta Ventures, Citi Ventures, Alpana Ventures, Plug and Play and AVG’s Spike Ventures. Car IQ will be using the funds to continue the development of a payment gateway that will enable vehicles to autonomously connect to a bank’s payment network, authenticate itself and pay for its own services. Additionally the funds will help the company to grow its team and scale its operations.

“We believe the future of banking is machine commerce and cars are just the beginning. When vehicles pay for their own services, they eliminate fraud risk, add transparency to the transaction and greatly streamline operations for fleet managers,” stated Sterling Pratz, founder and CEO of Car IQ, in the press release.

Car IQ’s identity management solution leverages the sensor data present in every vehicle to create an automobile’s unique digital fingerprint that can be used to connect and authenticate a vehicle to a payment network. The services are targeted to improve the payments efficiency for vehicle fleet managers, car-sharing services and commercial fleets.

According to Crunchbase, a website that tracks investment in private startups, Car IQ has raised $6.3 million in investments over four funding rounds since 2017.

Car IQ’s technology is not the only game in town. There are currently several independent ventures exploring in-car payments that have been ongoing for a few years.

IBM, General Motors, ExxonMobil and Mastercard began working together in 2016 on an in-car computer to enable payments. Similarly, Honda and Visa began collaborating in 2017 to create an in-car payments system that will allow a car to pay for gas and parking. Visa created its own prototype car in 2015 designed to initiate payments as a first step in a five-year plan to change how motorists pay for fuel and other needs while in transit.

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Internet of things Venture funding Citigroup