Sky News is reporting General Motors has invested $25 million in wejo, a connected-car data start-up. The deal gives General Motors a 35 percent stake in the British company, and values wejo at $275 million. Sky News’ sources say the two inked a deal several weeks ago even though neither company has disclosed any details about the investment. It’s also unclear how the deal came about, but GM does have a whole team dedicated to making deals around what can only be described as “innovation.”
The deal between wejo and General Motors includes more than an infusion of cash. According to Sky News, General Motors is also giving the company an “in-kind” consideration to supply data from millions of the automaker’s vehicles. That alone is said to be worth more than $70 million and will allow wejo to manage the data for seven years.
Founded in 2014 by Richard Barlow, wejo takes connected-car data and packages it in an accessible way for a wide range of businesses. Since its founding, the company has tracked seven million vehicles globally and processed data from 78 billion driven miles.
Data from connected cars and other sensors packed into today’s modern vehicles can provide automakers with a tremendous amount of information. This could help make cars safer, alleviate congestions, and make urban parking easier. Wejo helps automakers and other access that data in a useful way. The deal with General Motors will also give wejo access to a tremendous amount of data from the Detroit automaker, further improving wejo’s services.
News of the deal comes just a day after a report says General Motors has an interest in investing in Rivian—a Michigan-based electric vehicle company that made a splash at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. These deals come after GM announced a massive restructuring last year designed to save the automaker $6 billion by 2020, positioning the company to focus on high-profit crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, electric and autonomous vehicles, and connected-car technologies.