Urgent.ly, the roadside assistance tech uses artificial intelligence and geo-location to connect drivers, service providers, and automotive manufacturers in order to provide fast help during a breakdown.
The startup connects car owners who need help with tow truck and other services, has raised $21 million in a Series B round. The round was led by the venture arms of BMW, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover.
In addition to, BMW has also signed Urgent.ly as a vendor partner for its own roadside assistance platform (known as BMW Assist). The partnership is aimed at providing roadside assistance and extended mobility services to owners of all four of its brands in the U.S, including BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Urgent.ly was founded by Surendra Goel, Chris Spanos, and Luke Kathol. It doesn’t charge annual membership fees like AAA or other auto clubs. Instead, the app works a lot like Uber of Lyft. Users of the app can request help like a tow or tire change via the app, getting a jump start, which connects them with available services nearby. At that time, the user is shown what the towing or other service would charge them. Moreover, payments are handled within the app.
The startup has plans beyond connecting with traditional car owners. The platform is scalable, making it attractive for companies that have significant feet throughout the automotive sector. With the adoption of electric vehicles globally, there may be more demand for roadside assistance services like mobile charging.
“The old model of Urgent.ly, roadside assistance must make way for a modern, more digital approach,” Kasper Sage, a partner at BMW i Ventures said. “Urgent.ly will allow OEMs, equipment manufacturer, around the world to provide their customers the kind of real-time and connected digital experience they now expect in everything from food delivery to ride-sharing.”