Citi Ventures has joined a $5 million funding round in vehicle payment technology startup Car IQ.
Founded in 2016, Car IQ is developing a payment gateway that will enable vehicles to autonomously connect to a bank’s payment network, validate, and pay for their own services. Designed with the needs of fleet managers in mind, the system eliminates the need to use credit cards in vehicle service and payment workflows, enabling direct connections to banking institutions.
Sterling Pratz, founder and CEO of Car IQ, says: “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.”
Car IQ’s identity management tech uses the sensor data present in every vehicle to create a 'digital vehicle fingerprint', for ID verification at the bank's payment gateway.
“The next revolution in payments will be driven by machine banking technology that allows any IoT device, including vehicles, to connect directly to the bank and pay for its own services,” says Vanessa Colella, chief innovation officer of Citi and head of Citi Ventures. “Situated at the intersection of two rapidly evolving industries, automotive and financial services, Car IQ is uniquely positioned to enable the next generation of vehicle payments.”
The new round was led by Quest Venture Partners with additional participation from Avanta Ventures, Alpana Ventures, Plug and Play, and AVG’s Spike Ventures. It brings Car IQ's total funding to $6.3 million.