Virginia-Based Mobility And Roadside Assistance Platform Urgent.ly Raises $21 Million

By Dan Anderson ● February 2, 2019

Urgent.ly, a Vienna, Virginia-based global mobility and roadside assistance platform, announced it has raised $21 million in Series B funding. BMW i Ventures, InMotion Ventures, and Porsche Ventures participated in this round. Existing investors like American Tire Distributors also returned for this round. Founded by Chris Spanos, Surendra Goel, and Luke Kathol in 2013, Urgent.ly has now raised about $40 million including this round.

As global automotive and new mobility companies are designing and marketing more transportation options with varying tasks and complexity, it will render traditional roadside assistance obsolete. Mobility assistance that can service today’s vehicles and fleets of the future such as electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, micro-mobility vehicles, drones, robotic delivery, etc. will become increasingly essential.

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“We are truly gratified by the support of our investors, including some of the world’s top global automotive brands, as we work to define the future of mobility and roadside assistance and deliver the experience customers demand and deserve,” said Urgent.ly co-founder and CEO Chris Spanos in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to innovate our connected services across the rapidly evolving global automotive, insurance and mobility markets, where we have consistently driven increases in customer satisfaction over the legacy analog models that have defined the industry for the past 70 years.”

BMW i Ventures partner Kasper Sage emphasized that the old model of roadside assistance has to make way for a modern, more digital approach. And Urgent.ly will allow OEMs around the world to provide customers with real-time and connected digital experiences expected in everything from food delivery to ride-sharing. Urgent.ly connects dealerships, OEMs, providers, and customers in real time with actionable data-driven insights.

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Photo: Urgent.ly

BMW Group also recently selected Urgent.ly to work together with the BMW ConnectedDrive Customer Interaction Center (BMW Assist) as the vendor partner to provide roadside assistance and extended mobility services to owners to all four brands in the U.S. including BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

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Mike Hernandez, the manager for BMW Roadside Assistance and Mobility Services pointed out that Urgent.ly’s innovative and flexible modular platform enables the company to realize its vision for a completely transparent and integrated roadside assistance experience for BMW’s drivers and riders.

“We fundamentally believe that OEMs need to work more closely together to create the foundations for an improved, technology-enabled customer experience, and fully harness the fantastic entrepreneurial energy that is driving the digital transformation of our industry,” added InMotion Ventures managing director Sebastian Peck. “For Jaguar Land Rover to invest, alongside other established automotive manufacturers, into a business like Urgent.ly that is making great strides to transform the roadside assistance industry to deliver a better customer experience, is a completely logical step for us.”

How does Urgent.ly work? Customers can contact Urgent.ly’s call center agents online or over the phone. Then those agents can send them a text asking them to share their GPS location.

From there, Urgent.ly is able to match customers with one of 55,000 available service vehicles in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. And customers pay flat-rate pricing rather than recurring fees through auto clubs like AAA. With this funding round, Urgent.ly plans to further invest in “world-class customer experiences.”

“Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations,” explained Porsche’s Director Aftersales Region and Market Development Kilian Sauerwald. “The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment.”

And Ryan Marsh, the chief growth and innovation officer at American Tire Distributors (ATD) — which is the largest tire distributor in North America — said that the company is thrilled to partner with Urgent.ly. And he said that Urgent.ly’s digitally-enabled business model to modernize the roadside assistance experience will help ATD continue to bring new capabilities to customers as they drive traffic to their business and enhance their operations.