Change of gear for Clarkson’s Drive tribe as it expands service
THE struggling social network founded by Jeremy Clarkson and other former Top Gear presenters is expanding into insurance and repair services after racking up steep losses.
Drivetribe plans to alert members who have a service or insurance renewal due, and direct them to companies who can provide this service.
It plans to tap data gathered from a feature called Mygarage, launched earlier this year, which allows users to list information about the cars that they own and cars they want to own.
Drivetribe was launched two years ago by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the former Top
Gear presenters, as an online community for car lovers.
Ahead of its launch it received $6.5m (£5m) in funding from 21st Century Fox and $5.5m from investors including private equity firm Breyer Capital, led by Jim Breyer, one of the first investors in Facebook.
In August filings on Companies House revealed that the company had lost £12.5m in its first two years.
Drivetribe would offer members deals from their commercial partners based on the car ownership data they have provided, and would take a cut of any transactions made through the site.
It also has plans to collect more detailed user data beyond questionnaires and feedback, including information collected while a person is driving.
It is considering partnerships with car manufacturers that collect in-car data from drivers, such as their location and driving habits.
Among projects planned for the next year is a sentiment analysis programme, which will use wearable technology such as Fitbits and Apple Watches to measure how subscribers feel while driving their cars, in an effort to make driving “healthier”.
Chief executive Jonathan Morris said the company also plans to partner with car-sharing companies that allow users to rent out their own vehicles. The services, while popular in the US, have so far struggled to gain a foothold in the UK.
Former ‘Top Gear’ presenters Richard Hammond and James May celebrate the first year of trading for Drivetribe, the car-focused social network they founded with Jeremy Clarkson