General Motors (GM) is to take a 35% stake in British car technology company Wejo, as the company pursues car connectivity and telematics.
Wejo, which has bases in Chester, Manchester, and the Californian city of San Jose, agreed a deal with GM that includes a $25m (£19.4m) cash injection from the American OEM, coupled with a long-term data-sharing agreement between the two companies.
The deal between GM and Wejo will allow GM to access the connected car data market which is of increasing strategic importance to car manufacturers. Areas Wejo specialise in include traffic and mapping, urban mobility, insurance, parking, and geolocation.
Wejo will continue to engage in data sharing agreements with other auto manufacturers. The partnership with GM is intended to enhance vehicle safety and improve the driving experience by facilitating the development of products and services, such as real-time parking availability and accurate local fuel price comparisons.
As well as car manufacturers, Wejo has collaborated with local governments, sharing data related to traffic signalling, air quality and traffic congestion.
According to a report from Sky News, GM’s investment includes an ‘in-kind’ consideration worth more than $70m to supply data from the car-maker’s vehicles for Wejo to manage for seven years.
Richard Barlow, chief executive officer of Wejo, said: “This strategic partnership with GM represents a major step forward for Wejo and puts us at the forefront of the connected car revolution. It’s a statement of intent from one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world.
“Connected car data is of enormous value, not least to drivers who will be able to use it to unlock an evolving number of benefits, whether that’s cheaper insurance and fuel or a place to park.”
Wejo, which stands for ‘we journey’ was established in 2014, and has a total of 150 employees.
Last September, Daimler Financial Services launched aftermarket hardware to connect fleet cars of any brand, setting the OEM up for expansion in telematics beyond its own Mercedes-Benz nameplate.
The retrofit product, marketed through the captive’s Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services division, allows fleet operators to integrate older and non-connected cars into a fleet’s network.