How Car IQ Plans To Accelerate Growth Of Autonomous Payment Gateway For Vehicles

By Annie Baker ● July 8, 2019
  • Leading vehicle payment technology company Car IQ recently announced it raised $5 million in Series A funding

Car IQ — a leading vehicle payment technology — recently announced it raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Quest Venture Partners with participation from new investors Avanta Ventures, Citi Ventures, Alpana Ventures, Plug and Play, and AVG’s Spike Ventures.

What does Car IQ do? Car IQ is developing a payment gateway that enables vehicles to autonomously connect to a bank’s payment network, validate, and pay for their own services. Plus the Car IQ platform will eliminate the need to use credit cards in vehicle service and payment workflows thus enabling direct connections to banking institutions.

“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,” said Car IQ founder and CEO Sterling Pratz. “The addition of a well-rounded group of seasoned investors will allow us to execute our vision even more rapidly as we grow our team, scale our operations, and focus our efforts on powering full machine commerce.”

And Car IQ partners with automobile OEMs, financial institutions, and third-party service providers so that vehicles in fleets utilizing its technology are able to pay for services rendered autonomously and seamlessly without human interaction.

“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,” added Vanessa Colella — the 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. We are excited to partner with Sterling and his talented team on their next phase of growth.”

Car IQ’s dynamic identity management capabilities leverage the complex sensor data present in every vehicle to create a “digital vehicle fingerprint,” which will allow vehicles to directly connect to payment networks and pay for services. And this breakthrough technology enables data governance at the vehicle level, creating integrity, and transparency for the vehicle’s transactions — which reduces the risk of fraud.

“Car IQ’s vehicle payment gateway will simplify fleet management and enable cars to connect and pay for their own services autonomously,” explained Andrew Ogawa — Managing Director of Quest Venture Partners. “We look forward to supporting Sterling and the entire Car IQ in their bold mission to enable autonomous vehicle commerce.”

Plus Car IQ is designed to serve the broad needs of vehicle fleet managers including automotive OEMs, car-sharing services, ridesharing platforms, and commercial fleets.

“Car IQ and Avanta Ventures, the venture capital arm of CSAA Insurance Group, share a common vision for how technology can transform mobility. Car IQ has the potential to significantly enhance the automotive and insurance experiences for AAA customers by providing simple and secure vehicle payment for service and insurance, as well as new data to better underwrite policies,” noted Debbie Brackeen — the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at CSAA Insurance Group (a AAA insurer).

Pratz — an auto industry veteran — founded Car IQ in 2016 when he recognized a lack of innovation and consistency with automotive payment solutions. And he saw an opportunity for cars to connect and pay for their own services autonomously, thus removing the need for credit cards. Before launching Car IQ, Sterling founded and served as CEO of Autonet Mobile, an intelligent vehicle telematics provider that was acquired by Lear in 2015.