Cambridge Mobile Telematics Secures $500 Million To Help Prevent Vehicle Accidents

By Annie Baker ● December 21, 2018

Mobile telematics and analytics company Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) is raising $500 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund. CMT currently works with customers in over 20 countries and the company is able to accurately measure driving performance for insurance pricing, providing incentives for improving driving quality, lowering operating costs by reducing crash rates, and automating processing functions for some claims.

Some of CMT’s partners include leading insurers like State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Desjardins, Discovery, Admiral, MS&AD Group, QBE, AIG, and Insurance Australia Group. As a result, CMT has a global customer base of several million users.

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Photo: Cambridge Mobile Telematics

With this round of funding, the company will accelerate the adoption of its DriveWell platform used by insurers, fleets, and wireless carriers to measure driving risk and to improve driver safety. And it is going to fuel CMT’s growth in automated crash and claims management, video analytics, and safety for emerging vehicle and mobility systems.

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“Over the past few years, the DriveWell platform has helped make roads safer by making drivers better in a world where crashes are rising due to factors like distracted driving,” said CMT chairman and CTO Hari Balakrishnan in a statement. “Our rapid growth has been fueled by a culture that values collaboration with our customers and invests in research to improve our solutions and develop new products. This partnership with the Vision Fund is the start of the next stage of our journey to bring safe mobility solutions for people and goods at massive scale.”

Founded by Balakrishnan, Bill Powers (CEO), and Sam Madden (Chief Scientist), CMT pioneered several inventions since launching in 2010 from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. For example, CMT deployed the first service to efficiently gather and process sensory data from phones for auto insurance in 2012. CMT used phone sensors to measure phone distraction in 2013. And CMT induced better driving with gamification in 2014. With these innovations, it created the category known as “behavior-based insurance” and “mobile usage-based insurance.”

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In 2014, CMT’s DriveWell Tag became the first fully wireless “Internet of Things” (IoT) device to measure vehicle dynamics for actuarial scoring and real-time impact alerts with roadside assistance. And CMT shipped its 6 millionth Tag this year.

The DriveWell platform has helped reduce phone distraction by 35% on average and at-risk speeding and hard braking by 20%. These improvements have lead to significant reductions in crashes and insurance claims.

“CMT is breaking new ground in the application of telematics, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to solve challenging problems in insurance and safety,” said Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “CMT is uniquely positioned to help insurers develop the insights to better support customers and advance their operations, while promoting long-term improvements in driving standards around the world.”