App Store For Cars Raises $2.3 Million

Mojio’s device can connect to the onboard diagnostic port (OBD) which has been included in most cars introduced since 1996

Mojio secures $2.3-million in seed financing for its connected car device and software

The Vancouver-based startup behind a cloud-connected device for cars closed a $2.3-million seed financing round led by Relay Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, BDC and several other smaller funds.

Mojio’s palm-sized device allows drivers to connect to their vehicles via their smartphone, enabling them to pay parking tickets, stream mileage and engine information to their phones and even allow users turn off lights they may have left on at home, according to the company.

The company hopes that its open platform, which streams real-time vehicle information to iOS and Android devices, will emerge the world’s first app store for cars. 

Mojio’s device works by connecting to a car’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD), which is included in most vehicles built after 1996.

The orange and white device can alert driver’s if their car has been towed, stolen or broken into, in addition to streaming critical vehicle data online.

The round comes after Apple announced in June that it was in partnership with several automakers to, “to get the iOS interface in your car’s dashboard.” Tesla also has plans to open the car’s native software, enabling developers to build apps (including Google Chrome), which drivers can access from the screen between the two front seats. So far Mojio has not signed any agreements with automakers over the use of its device.

Despite the move by both major tech companies – Apple and Google – and automakers – Ford and Honda – into the connected car space, both Mojio and its financiers see a market for their device and software.

“Mojio has the right approach to becoming the breakaway leader of the connected car space and has the right team to execute the company’s vision,” said John Occhipinti, parter at Relay Ventures, in a statement.

In the same statement, Mojio CEO Jay Giraud said the the funding will give the company a leg up in the connected car market.