zendrive

Bangalore & San Francisco-based Zendrive has raised $13.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by Sherpa Capital, reports WSJ. With this investment, co-founder of Sherpa Capital Shervin Pishevar will join the company’s board.

Zendrive offers a software development kit (SDK) to vehicle fleets to gather data on driver efficiency. It rates driver performance on various metrics like aggressive braking, vehicle control, turning skills, focus etc. It also provides an automatic collision detection facility that lets developers call local emergency services automatically and a coaching feature to provide drivers with actionable insights and personal goals.

As of now the company is working on providing better insurance policies through data analytics. The WSJ report mentions that Zendrive recently also hired a VP of insurance to explore opportunities in the insurance industry. Currently, the platform provides its SDK for free for 1-4 drivers, charges $4 per month for 5-99 drivers and a custom amount for over 100 drivers.

MediaNama’s take: Most drivers these days have smartphones, making it a pretty neat idea to tap into its sensors to figure out how well drivers are doing. Not using special hardware makes it easy for agencies to adopt the SDK, however, it also makes the data vulnerable to inherent differences between the smartphones of different make. Overall though, if the data is good enough to point out specific quirks in driver behaviour, it should be useful for taxi aggregators, driving training providers and even insurance providers.