“The connected car is still such a new category for people that just being able to diagnose and locate their car seems to get many people excited.
Jay Giraud, CEO, Mojio
Mojio recently announced that it has closed a seed financing round led by Relay Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, BDC and a number of other private funds. The $2.3 million in seed financing will be used by Mojio to bring to market its connected car app, which is in the final stages of development and will launch within a few months.
Recently ‘Telematics Wire’ got an opportunity to interact with Jay Giraud, Chief Executive Officer of Mojio. Jay Giraud briefly discussed about Mojio’s connected cars initiatives and its upcoming ventures along with other perspectives.
Jay Giraud is a passionate entrepreneur who believes in making the world a better place through technology products for everyday people. Prior to founding Mojio in 2012, Jay led a team that built the world’s leading vehicle-to-grid management system for electric vehicles with customers including the US Army, Chrysler and Burlington Hydro. Today, Jay is building on his vision of bringing the Internet of Cars to market with Mojio – an OBD device and a smartphone app that includes an open platform and the world’s first app store for cars.More on Mojio can be found at www.moj.io
A former world traveling professional snowboarder, Jay is a seasoned speaker who consistently connects well with audiences. He has spoken at events including Google 4 Entrepreneurs (2014), FutureMobile (2014), Grow (2013), Resource Point (2011), Deloitte Cleantech (2011), Techonomy (2010) and Globe (2010).
Could you please tell us something about Mojio’s connected car initiatives?
Later this fall, Mojio is launching a device with a core app that will connect cars with their owners and the world around them. Mojio delivers diagnostic, location and social services to its owner allowing the driver to locate, diagnose, monitor and share information about their car and driving. And, because Mojio is cellular, Mojio makes the car the connected device, not the users smartphone, eliminating battery drain issues and allowing for real time data to be delivered to the driver. Many devices on the market may offer similar services but very few offer an always-on connection that allows a driver to remain connected to his vehicle even when he is not in it. The most powerful opportunity Mojio provides, however, is an open platform that allows anyone to design an app for cars. This makes the possibilities for the connected car and what it may do only as limited as people’s imaginations. Mojio will launch an app immediately for iOS and will follow shortly after with Android and Windows versions. Mojio is available in Canada and the US nationwide for $169 and $149 respectively with the first year of service included. After the first year, Mojio’s monthly charge is $6.99 CDN or $4.99 USD.
How is the Mojio’s connected car platform being leveraged by the following ecosystem players:-
- Automotive OEMs — Mojio continues to chat with OEMs looking for exciting opportunities to work together but specific plans remain confidential at this time.
- 3rd party content providers/app developers – our ecosystem and developer center are popular with developers with more than 100 currently developing apps for our platform. Developers can make an app without having a device thanks to our Mojio simulator. The opportunities to create apps and make money are endless as the connected car is new territory for developers, allowing for much easier discovery in the app store and more impact through simple marketing.
- Telecom operators – Telecom providers AT&T and TELUS are our key launch partners, allowing Mojio to serve all of Canada and the US, nationwide. New telecom partner relationships are in negotiation for future country roll-outs.
- Consumers — consumers are pre ordering Mojio at this time in order to be first in line for a universal, brand agnostic, connected car experience. All they need is a car that has an OBD II port – found in most cars manufactured after 1996 in North America.
What influenced Mojio to join forces with Glympse? What are the mutual benefits and the benefits extended to consumers as a result of this partnership?
Glympse is an expert at location-based services having been developing a superior app for several years. Mojio’s strategic alignment with Glympse will allow us to increase the power of our offering in location-based services within our core app for businesses and consumers alike. Partnerships like this will rapidly expand the accessibility and value for drivers to experience the benefit of the connected car today.
In your opinion, what are the various app related services that are getting a major traction amongst users and being paid for?
It’s early days for this kind of speculation. The connected car is still such a new category for people that just being able to diagnose and locate their car seems to get many people excited (although we know that is quite simple to do). As the market grows and people learn what’s possible, we will then be able to see how people are using and applying the app in their everyday lives.
Will the in-car apps and services make their way into low-end cars? If yes, how close or far are we to the reality?
Mojio makes any car a connected car as long as it has an OBD II port. It reads the information coming from the car’s computer, regardless to how sophisticated that computer may be. Mojio will provide its core app functionality to any car, which is exactly our point – there is no need to purchase a new car under a specific brand – Mojio can make most any make and model a smart car.
Does Mojio have any plans to expand their connected car business in the regions that still seem to be untapped i.e. APAC, Africa, LATAM?
Mojio does have global expansion plans. The key to our plans is working with telecom partners to provide the service over cellular networks in a reliable and consistent manner to ensure people enjoy the always on, real time data experience. We are always excited to hear from telecom companies with interest in the connected car as a new area of business.
[whohit]Mojio on ‘How to make a car a connected device?’ [/whohit]