Innovative Driver Safety Company Shows Safer Driving Can Reduce Both Accidents and Fuel Costs, Curb CO2 Emissions
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., and LONDON – January 31, 2008 – GreenRoad Technologies Inc. , an innovative world leader in driver safety technologies, today announced that it has secured an investment of $14.5 million led by Virgin Green Fund and Benchmark Capital with participation from Balderton Capital. The funds will expand and support GreenRoad’s global operations and serve its fleet and insurance customers as they enhance driver safety and reduce fuel consumption.
The High Cost of Aggressive Driver Behaviour
GreenRoad improves driver safety and significantly reduces accidents by instantly identifying risky drivers and empowering them to change their behaviour behind the wheel via real-time feedback and regular web reporting. GreenRoad’s focus is on business fleets, and teenage or high-risk drivers via partnerships with insurance companies. Aggressive driving behaviour is a leading contributor to accidents, leading to injuries and fatalities. Unsafe drivers also waste fuel and increase carbon emissions since vehicles burn significantly more fuel when driven aggressively. GreenRoad’s services are designed to educate drivers on which of their driving actions are unsafe so they can learn to moderate their behaviour and be safer on the road.
With the expanded Duty of Care legislation set to go into effect on April 6, 2008, in the UK, companies will be more strictly liable for accidents that happen in company vehicles. The new legislation makes it imperative that businesses be able to track driver safety, and have proactive policies in place to address safety risks. GreenRoad’s technology automates the process of identifying risky drivers and enables companies to measure the effectiveness of their safety programs in real-time.
GreenRoad SafetyCenter, their flagship solution, uniquely combines instant identification of risky drivers, in-vehicle feedback, and automated web safety profiles with customised risk consulting to quickly tell drivers how safely they are driving and which specific areas need improvement. GreenRoad clients have reduced accidents by an average of 54 percent, lowered accident costs by an average of 65 percent, and reduced fuel consumption and CO² emissions by an average of 7 percent—without invading driver privacy. By empowering drivers to manage their own safety, and understand how to drive more responsibly, GreenRoad can change driver behaviour behind the wheel.
The Virgin Green Fund invests in companies that provide energy from alternative sources and improve the management of scarce and depleting resources. “GreenRoad Technologies has created an innovative and market-leading product that can help to create a cleaner and safer environment,” said Sir Richard Branson, founding investor in Virgin Green Fund. “By deploying GreenRoad through their fleets, companies can play an important role in reducing fuel consumption, lowering harmful emissions and fostering safe driving habits. This in turn benefits a company’s bottom line, while also benefiting the community in which it operates.”
Benchmark Capital and Balderton Capital have been investors in GreenRoad since 2006 and continue their commitment with this funding round.
“As our rapid growth continues with customers such as AAA and T-Mobile, GreenRoad sees tremendous potential to serve the fleet and insurance markets with a driver safety solution that can significantly reduce both accident rates and fuel costs,” said Dan Steere, CEO of GreenRoad. “We are delighted that our investors recognise GreenRoad’s potential.”
Managing Partner Shai Weiss Joins GreenRoad Board of Directors
As part of today’s announcement, Shai Weiss, Managing Partner of Virgin Green Fund, will join GreenRoad’s Board of Directors. Shai joined Virgin to lead the formation of the Virgin Green Fund. Prior to the Fund, Shai was a Managing Director of ntl:Telewest (now known as Virgin Media), the UK’s and Europe’s largest cable operator where he was part of the turn-around of ntl with the stock increasing fivefold in 2003. Shai was also behind the recent merger between Virgin Mobile UK and ntl:Telewest and the re-brand to Virgin Media.
GreenRoad develops driver safety technologies that stop risky driving before an accident occurs, and dramatically reduce crash rates for fleets and insurance companies. Its solutions are designed to empower drivers to manage their own safety by giving instantaneous, in-vehicle driver feedback—without invading privacy. Safety Center focuses on how they are driving, not where, and does not watch the drivers with intrusive video cameras. Over time, Safety Center has proven that it can change driver behaviour behind the wheel. The result is fewer accidents, lower accident costs, and reduced fuel consumption and CO² emissions. GreenRoad is backed by Benchmark Capital, Virgin Green Fund and Balderton Capital.
The Virgin Green Fund has been established to invest in companies in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors, primarily in the United States and Europe. Virgin Green Fund is a sector-focused, multi-stage investment firm investing primarily in expansion/growth capital opportunities with offices in London and San Francisco. Diversification is a cornerstone of the strategy. The Fund has been launched with the backing of the Virgin Group, one of the best known investment and operational firms in the world. For more information, visit www.virgingreenfund.com.
Benchmark Capital, a leading international venture capital firm, was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs with original ideas build successful technology companies. Benchmark’s general partners take a team-oriented, labor-intensive approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm’s portfolio companies. Benchmark’s portfolio includes high-profile start-ups like Infinera, MySQL, OpenTable, Second Life, Tellme, Yelp, and Zillow, and franchise companies such as eBay, Juniper Networks and Red Hat. The firm manages nearly $3 billion in committed venture capital. For more information on Benchmark Capital, visit its website at www.benchmark.com.
Balderton Capital is one of Europe’s largest venture capital firms, committed to finding and helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. Based in London, it manages approximately USD 1.5 billion in committed venture capital. Since 2000, Balderton has invested in over 70 companies across a wide variety of technology sectors and geographies, including the UK, mainland Europe, the US and China. Notable investments include Alphyra (Europe’s largest payment-processing network), Bebo (the leading social networking site), Codemasters (the developer and publisher of innovative video games), Habbo Hotel (the teen social networking site), MySQL (the open-source database business) and Setanta Sports (the European sports pay-tv broadcaster).