We had great early momentum and success. We built the largest app ecosystem in the industry within 10 months from launching, and we had a high engagement of customers using third-party applications at 18 times per month. But we quickly realized we needed to be more fully integrated into the automotive value chain in order to bring this experience to the masses. Selling directly to the consumer without the alignment of automakers, banks, and large fleet companies created a challenge. We also saw a massive shift with the automaker. They were beginning to light up their newer vehicles with internet capabilities. We saw an opportunity for us to reset and refocus our efforts in the market where we could bring a different kind of value.
So we took a step back and made some tough decisions. This meant reinventing ourselves and repositioning ourselves in our space. This meant we needed to have more alignment with automakers and large fleets. This has been no easy task, which is why we have spent the last two years operating back in stealth mode. Last quarter, we re-emerged with our new position in the marketplace as a data intelligence platform.
How do drivers interact with your platform?
Drivers do not interact with our platform directly. They interact with the services that our partners choose to launch over our platform. One partner may select to integrate with our app ecosystem and fleet management service. Another may be more interested in reporting and data insights for predictive services. We provide all of the ingredients that make up our partner services.
How do you win over big-name car manufacturers who have their own connected car teams?
Automakers are doing a great job in collecting and managing data from the cars. What we bring to the table is driving value out of this data. What is that value? It’s an intelligent ecosystem of applications and services driven by data to end users. We do this through multiple layers:
● Go beyond the connected car: The connected car is a small piece of the puzzle. Because we are not focused on connected cars but rather automotive-related data in general, we enable automakers to connect all the other pieces that are complementary to the connected car data ranging from smart city data, infrastructure data, financial data, driver data, legal policies.
● Unlock an ecosystem: We enable automakers to build an ecosystem of applications and services on top of the platform. This enables our partners to launch different applications and services for different segments of their customer base and localized per region, country, and even per area.
● Work with other brands: Launching a mobility solution often requires working with other large brands. Vinli offers an impartial platform that enables big brands to collaborate and launch a joint solution.
● Collect insights not just data: With Vinli’s Era, automakers can automatically ingest, correlate, and discover insights across massive amounts of data with minimal needs for data scientists. Lastly, and most importantly, Vinli embraces customization to amplify what makes our partner different. So we don’t replicate the same solution for every partner. We create a dedicated instance for our partner and we work closely with them to launch a custom solution using their data, their brand, their needs. All while complying with their requirements around data privacy, policies and security. Effectively, we become an extension of their team.