ZenDrive, a mobile technology startup, has today announced that it has raised $13.5 million in its latest Series A round of funding, which was led by Sherpa Capital, in order to make transportation safer.

Apart from Sherpa Capital, other firms which invested in this round includes Fontinalis Partners, BMW i Ventures, First Round Capital, Tad Montross, Thomvest Ventures, and Nyca Partners.

With the fresh funds coming to the company, it will now be used to improve the technology for the company and hire more talented people for the growth of the company.

Founded by Pankaj Risbood and Jonathan Matus in 2013, ZenDrive seeks to improve safety on roads by using data and analytics pulled from apps using its technology.

Instead of providing and using a device that plugs right into your dashboard, the company relies on your smartphone. The data derived from each phone can then be used to make roads safer, by informing government officials how to improve road infrastructure. It also offers real-time notification if your loved one is involved in an accident.

The average person won’t notice if they’re using Zendrive because it lacks a consumer-facing version. It is only available for developers who can include in their own app through an SDK.

The company’s tool uses mobile sensors within the device to measure acceleration, braking, swerving, phone use, and various other factors.

Prior to this Series A round of funding, the company had raised an undisclosed amount in November 2014. In August 2013, it had raised $1.5 million in seed funding round from AME Cloud Ventures, First Round, Max Levchin, and Timothy Ferriss.

ZenDrive is based in San Francisco, but its engineering unit is based in Bengaluru. The company’s technology can be used by on-demand services, commercial fleets, taxi aggregators, insurance, city planning, driving instruction and roadside assistance.

Pankaj Risbood, co-founder and VP of engineering at Zendrive, said,

The transportation and logistics sectors in India are undergoing rapid growth and modernization. At the same time, road safety is becoming an increasing focus for regulators and communities. Zendrive technology, by virtue of working on any smartphone, fits in very well with the requirements for a solution that is cheap, does not require hardware and can be rapidly deployed nationwide.

Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Sherpa Capital, said,

Stacked with mobile and data experts from Google and Facebook, this team has introduced the first significant driver and passenger safety innovation since airbags.


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