Real-time traffic analytics firm Inrix raises $37 million

Real-time car traffic data company Inrix raised $37 million in funding, led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Real-time car traffic data company Inrix said on Monday that it raised $37 million in series D funding, led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based company has raised almost $70 million to date. August Capital also pitched in for the latest round.

Inrix specializes in assembling real-time traffic information from various sources, including GPS-enabled vehicles, mobile devices and road sensors. It operates in 22 countries.

Audi and Toyota already use the company's traffic services in their vehicles (the new Audi A6; Toyota's new Prius V and Camry through its Entune in-dash system). The company is also behind traffic and navigation for Ford's popular and widespread Sync system.

In other words:

  • Traffic information and routing for in-car GPS navigation systems.
  • Traffic information and routing apps for GPS-enabled mobile devices, such as smartphones.
  • Public-facing traffic information for U.S. and European regional transportation agencies to help them manage road networks, improve long-range planning and measure system performance. Simply: analytics.

Inrix says it plans to use the investment for acquisitions, global expansion and research and development, specifically on in-car services and mobile applications.

It's no surprise that this small area of the automotive industry is rapidly growing as automakers race to embed connected technology in their vehicles as a competitive differentiator.

The upside: opportunity to improve the system from the highest levels.

"Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy upwards of $155 billion dollars annually," said Kleiner Perkins partner Michael Linse in a statement. "Last year alone, U.S. drivers wasted 3.9 billion gallons of fuel sitting idle in traffic, and the U.S. is a small part of a much larger and growing global traffic problem."

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