London, UK. September 11, 2012. Telefónica Digital and ‘La Caixa‘, have announced a joint investment of EUR3 million in addFleet, a company specialised in intelligent transport systems. The investment is intended to promote the commercialisation of the company’s products worldwide.
addFleet is a young company headed by Bartolomé Olivares and Daniel Cabrera, and accelerated by the Inspirit group, it seeks to use innovation and development to create more sustainable and efficient transportation networks. With this underlying vision, addFleet has developed a new cloud computing-based mobility system that uses M2M technology and mobile devices to connect vehicles to taxi despatch centres and to users.
Taxi despatchers are currently managed by analogue radio systems or servers at the dispatch centres that connect to terminals in each vehicle. The main disadvantage of these systems is that they require a large investment and do not allow direct communication between the despatcher, the vehicle and the user.
addFleet’s technology reportedly offers several advantages for reservation centres as well as for taxi operators and users. For the despatch centres, there is a significant cost reduction because the service does not require an initial investment in servers, since the solution is cloud-based and the technology does not require installation and is self-configuring. The despatch centres pay a fee for each registered vehicle and a fee every time a service is handled.
Taxi drivers will find that the solution does not require the installation of costly technology and they only pay a small fee every time they pick up a fare using the application. They simply download the app to a smartphone, which then allows them to connect to the despatch centre via M2M technology and to determine the location of the customers closest to their current location, which improves efficiency and significantly reduces fuel consumption by shortening the distances when looking for customers.
Once the app has been downloaded to the mobile device, users can then request a taxi service quickly, easily and without charge. The free application also lets them follow the vehicle’s route, which results in shorter waits because the customer will know when the taxi is approaching the pickup point.
The company was created in Barcelona in January 2012 and is currently running a pilot test of the platform with 200 vehicles in several countries in Europe and Latin America. The company has also signed an agreement with Telefónica to include its product in its worldwide portfolio of M2M products.
The investment in addFleet is the first by Telefónica Ventures in Spain after investments in other international technology companies such as Quantenna, Joyent and Boku.
Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth. It is also driving innovation in over-the-top communications services under a new umbrella brand called TU. Telefónica Digital will deliver these new products and services to Telefónica’s 309 million customers as well as leveraging the power of the internet to enter new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Tel Aviv.
Caixa Capital Risc is the division of “la Caixa” that manages venture capital firms and invests in innovative Spanish companies that show a high degree of growth potential during the early stages, accompanying them in the different phases of their development.
With a war chest of €50 million euros, Caixa Capital Risc invests in the capital of innovative companies using 3 vehicles: Caixa Capital BioMed, Caixa Capital TIC and Caixa Capital Micro. Caixa Capital TIC invests in internet technologies and the internet. Its portfolio currently includes Privalia, Groupalia, Zyncro, Goodeal, i-neumáticos, Apesoft, Genasys, KD Pof, Urbiótica and vLex.
The Inspirit group was created by entrepreneur Didac Lee and comprises nine technology companies with innovative profiles and operating in different sectors. The group is present in Barcelona, Madrid, Brazil, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Italy, France and the Silicon Valley. The engine that drives the group is Inspirit Labs, which is responsible for creating, incubating and accelerating new technology companies.