Vinli, Inc., developer of a connected car platform providing applications and services for consumers, developers, and distributors, announced that it has completed a $6.5 million Series A financing led by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation. Cox Automotive, The Westly Group, and Continental also participated in the round. The financing will help the company aggressively grow its sales through distribution partners, expand its partnerships with key players in the automobile and technology industry, and fuel engineering and R&D of its connected car platform, including the growth of solution partners developing and integrating data for Vinli users. Director of Strategic Investments at Samsung Global Innovation Center, Luis Arbulu, and Vice President of New Ventures for Cox Automotive, David Liniado, will join Vinli’s Board of Directors.
Vinli provides the most advanced connected car device and platform in the marketplace, enabling consumers to create a truly customized in-car experience with the industry’s fastest mobile WiFi and the marketplace’s most diverse and comprehensive App Store.
“We believe Vinli will change how people interact with their cars on a day-to-day basis by making cars smarter, safer and more enjoyable,” says Mark Haidar, CEO of Vinli. “We are honored to be partnering with one of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies, Samsung; one of the largest auto suppliers, Continental; one of the largest car ownership companies, Cox Automotive; and one of Tesla’s early investors, The Westly Group. This diverse group of auto and technology industry leaders believe in our vision and will help us accelerate and shape the future of the connected car.”
“Vinli is focused on bringing the most personalized, best driving experience possible to modern drivers, one that enables smooth connectivity to their favorite apps”, said Luis Arbulu, Director of Strategic Investments at Samsung Global Innovation Center. “We are excited about Vinli’s innovative technology and look forward to welcoming the team to the Samsung family.”
“We are proud to support Vinli as it debuts in the automotive marketplace,” said David Liniado, vice president of new ventures for Cox Automotive. “At Cox Automotive, we align with brands that innovate, inspire and deliver a key consumer or industry need, and we are confident Vinli will become an essential function in the automotive technology space.”
In the US alone, more than 253 million cars are on the road with an average age of 11 years. Closed and fragmented systems make it challenging and expensive for developers to develop an application without considerable investment or partnership with a manufacturer or communications network. With Vinli’s advanced hardware and open platform, developers can create applications and solutions that work on over 700 million vehicles around the world. Vinli then connects the driver to comprehensive apps, internet, and services, and finally, puts the data in the hands of the consumers in a fast and secure way.
“We are excited about Vinli and their approach to the trillion-dollar global auto industry. The connected car industry is made up of some of the biggest players in the world, and Vinli has already seen incredible momentum with market leaders,” says Steve Westly, managing partner at The Westly Group. “The investment will put the company and team in a position to emerge as a platform leader and provide technology innovation opportunities to both the traditional industry experts as well as emerging technology providers.”
“As a leading global automotive systems supplier, Continental’s collaboration with Vinli is an important step in extending our platform development beyond the connected vehicle to providing intelligent software services which consumers will find highly attractive and useful, as well as driving the vehicle to become the central hub in the Internet of Everything.” says Seval Oz, CEO of Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems, LLC.
The Series A funding announcement follows the announcement of Vinli’s pre-ordering campaign, and partnership with the nation’s fastest 4G LTE carrier, T-Mobile. Vinli was born out of Dialexa Labs in Dallas, Texas. Since their debut at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2014, Vinli has been improving product development, reducing hardware costs, and expanding its universal App Store for the car through partnerships with solution providers including SmartThings, Dash, MileIQ, ParkHub, SafeDrive, and Flo. Vinli will be giving consumers access to more than 150 apps to be submitted to its App Store after launch. The manufacturing process for the Vinli device is underway, with the first units expected to ship in August 2015.