Mojio Inc., a startup founded in Vancouver that makes wireless technology for cars, has raised US$40-million in series B financing, close to double the money it had originally attracted in the round.
Mojio’s series B first closed in late 2017. Toronto’s Kensington Capital Partners led the financing and it was worth about US$23-million. Mojio thereafter attracted money from names in the car business, including Assurant Inc., which sells extended car warranties, and Bosch, a supplier to automakers. The extended series B closed this week, Mojio said.
Securing cash from companies that are also key customers is a win, said Rick Nathan, managing director at Kensington.
“These investors are important strategic partners,” Mr. Nathan said.
Mojio’s products include services that give drivers access to a mobile wireless connection and provide updates about issues with the car. The technology can also monitor how a car is driven, from issues such as harsh breaking and rapid acceleration to length of trips and accidents.
Mojio’s technology is in 850,000 cars, up more than two-thirds from 500,000 in late 2017. When the company first closed its series B, chief executive Kenny Hawk said Mojio was aiming for 1.5 million cars by late 2018.
In an interview, Mr. Hawk said Mojio’s growth is substantial. He pointed to a 2018 Deloitte LLP survey of the fastest-growing Canadian technology companies that ranked Mojio second on a list of 50.
Mojio was founded in Vancouver in 2012. Mr. Hawk became CEO in 2015 and was based in Palo Alto, Calif. As Mojio has grown, it has built its leadership team in Silicon Valley. The company recently relocated its California office to Campbell, near San Jose. Mr. Hawk’s team in California includes Mojio vice-presidents in charge of engineering, operations, global sales and emerging products.
The company has about 100 employees, roughly split between California and Vancouver. The two top people in Vancouver are the senior directors of engineering and technical services.
Mr. Hawk said Mojio has had to look broadly to find talent.
“We weren’t able to get everyone we needed in Vancouver,” he said. “It’s a question of where can you get the talent, the experience that you need.”
Mr. Hawk said Mojio is a Canadian corporation on a legal basis.
Mr. Nathan at Kensington Capital said Mojio’s executive functions and staffing in the United States did not say anything about the state of the tech sector in Vancouver.
“Vancouver has a very strong talent pool,” Mr. Nathan said. “What you need to appreciate is, when you’re trying to build a global company, you’re looking for people all over the world. I don’t think it makes sense to take a narrow view of where you’re going to find people.”