Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital fund has backed a start-up behind an app that lets users pay car tax, MOTs and congestion charges all from their infotainment systems.
InMotion Ventures, the carmaker’s early stage investment fund, has joined a £3m funding round for London-based Caura, a start-up founded last year by former Apple employee Sai Lakshmi.
Caura’s app, which is currently available on iPhones and will launch on Android phones later this month, aims to digitise all aspects of car ownership, ripping up the need for paper forms.
Once users download the app and enter their registration, car insurance, car taxes and ULEZ charges can all be managed from their phone with Apple Pay. It is currently being used by tens of thousands of car owners. It also plans to introduce parking payments and electric vehicle charging.
JLR joins investors TwinFocus Capital as well as Antony Sheriff, the former chief executive of McLaren Automotive.
Many car infotainment systems only support maps, music and phone calls, but few have payments systems built in. JLR said it plans to integrate Caura’s payments system into future in-car infotainment systems for its models, making it possible for drivers to easily manage payments on the go.
Sebastian Peck, managing director at JLR’s InMotion Ventures, said: “We are really excited about the prospect of seamlessly integrating the Caura platform offering in-car payment for parking, tolls, tax and congestion which would be a huge benefit for our customers.”
Caura’s founder, Mr Lakshmi, also helped set up Echo, an app for managing and buying repeat prescriptions from the NHS. It was sold to Lloyds Pharmacy owner McKesson in 2019.
Mr Lakshmi said: “Our goal was to create a single app from which Britain’s 30m drivers could manage every aspect of their vehicle’s management. This funding will enable us to realise our vision and expand to all drivers with native in-car systems, starting with Jaguar Land Rover.”