Currently reading: Jaguar Land Rover backs Caura car fee management app
JLR subsidiary InMotion Ventures contributes to £3 million of investment raised in Caura’s latest funding round
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2 mins read
21 June 2021

A new smartphone app claimed to prevent drivers from ever forgetting to pay a parking fine, congestion charge or any other car-related fee has raised $4.2 million (£3.02m) from investors to expand its product line.

The most storied participant in Caura’s latest funding round is Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) subsidiary InMotion Ventures, which is investigating integrating the app into its cars, “offering in-car payment for parking, tolls, tax, and congestion”. JLR said that would be “a huge benefit to our customers”.

Other companies that have invested in Caura include Road Ventures, Pareto Holdings and Quiet Capital, alongside notable individual investors, including unnamed Apple and Google executives.

The software, called Caura after the company that developed it, serves as a diary for vehicle owners in the UK, reminding them of important upcoming events, such as road tax, MOT test and insurance expiry dates.

Users of the Financial Conduct Authority-approved app can also pay fees for parking, toll roads and congestion charges without leaving the app’s homepage, with notifications reminding drivers when payments are due.

The injection of £3.02 million will be put towards creating a new B2B-specific version of Caura’s app and potentially integrating a function for managing electric car charging. It will also enable users to make payments for entering Clean Air Zones, low-emissions areas that are being rolled out across the country this year.

“The billions of pounds in penalty fees UK consumers incur from mistakes or late payments for parking, congestion charges, road tax, tolls, MOT and insurance are totally avoidable,” said Sai Lakshmi, founder and CEO of Caura.

“The incumbent system - fragmented, confusing and outdated - isn't only costly but a massive source of anxiety. By eliminating the need for dozens of apps and services, we're removing hassle, confusion and unnecessary expenses of car ownership.”

The app also reminds users when their car’s MOT certificate expires. Currently, 25% of UK MOTs are conducted late, meaning around 8 million cars on the road could have potentially dangerous defects such as bald tyres, worn brakes or blown bulbs.

Caura is currently available only for iOS users but could be rolled out to Android devices later this year. It has been downloaded by tens of thousands of car owners across the UK and has an Apple App Store rating of 4.8 out of five.

Causa says its app’s appearance and usability are inspired by Apple products. Lakshmi spent several years working at Apple before founding Caura. He has also founded a platform in partnership with the NHS that allows people to order repeat prescriptions.

READ MORE

From the archive: AA is formed to help drivers evade speeding fines 

London congestion charge returns with 30% price hike 

York rejects congestion charging

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Cersai Lannister 21 June 2021

That will be an answer to a question nobody has asked, "What if a major can maker shoveled cash into an app to remind me of things so that they can monetize it?"

xxxx 21 June 2021

Sort of thing a university student could knock up in a term. £3m joke of a calendar

TStag 21 June 2021
I suspect the plan is for it to take care of everything including paying parking, arranging MOTs, searching for the best Insurance. But you have to start with basic calendar functionality and build out from there.

Ultimately JLR may be thinking of offering their own services. JLR car insurance for example…. If they can bulk sell they may secure big discounts for customers. Smart move, there’s more money in this sort of thing than actually making cars, sadly.