British car data firm Wejo expands with US takeover
A CHESHIRE-BASED data company hoping to profit from the boom in internet-connected cars has bought a Silicon Valley start-up in a rare case of an American tech firm being poached by a British one.
Wejo, which allows car manufacturers to sell data generated by their vehicles to insurers and transport authorities, is paying several million dollars for Carjojo, a website that negotiates car purchases on buyers’ behalf.
The British company hopes the deal will accelerate its push into connected cars, a market predicted to be worth more than $30bn (£23bn) by 2025.
Wejo operates an online exchange that lets car manufacturers sell data from their vehicles. This lets breakdown and insurance companies monitor for faults and analyse collisions.
The data can also be used by “smart city” operators to monitor traffic and air quality, while camera information could be used by technology companies to develop self-driving systems. About 7m cars are tied into the service, which cover around 10bn miles a month, said Richard Barlow, Wejo’s chief executive.
He said buying Carjojo, which is increasingly used by American consumers to buy new cars, would get more vehicles on to its exchange.
Wejo, which has raised about £25m from a handful of unnamed investors, is chaired by Tim Lee, the former head of General Motors in China.
New cars are being packed with sensors, processors and cameras as they are connected to the internet. According to analysts at Frost & Sullivan, each car could generate data worth between $25 and $40 a year.