A string of prominent tech figures invests in Jens Nylander’s new startup.
Jens Nylander is known to most Swedes as the guy behind the mp3-player Jens of Sweden – a company which in spite of a lot of buzz went bankrupt in 2005.
Nowadays, Jens Nylander is based in Silicon Valley and runs his new startup Automile. The idea is to connect cars to the internet and gather data about the car’s condition and the driver’s habits. The service is targeted at small companies. For example construction companies that wants to get a better sense of how their vehicles are being used.
The product itself consists of a small box that is plugged into the car. The data transmission is handled over the internet.
Last year, the company raised just north of $5 million (SEK 45 million), and in May Jens Nylander hinted that another round was around the corner.
He has now closed the next round. Jens Nylander and Automile has raised a total of $6.4 million (SEK 55 million) from a number of prominent tech entrepreneurs, which Di Digital (article in Swedish) reported first.
Among the investors are Swedish tech celebs such as the founder of Skype Niklas Zennström, and Sam Nurmi who founded Pingdom, as well as international names like Echosign-founder Jason Lemkin and Twitch-co-founder Justin Kan.
According to Jens Nylander, the company is currently valued at somewhere around SEK 250 million, which equates to almost $30 million.
“We have gotten a number of investment proposals. Jason Lemkin was the obvious choice for us because we get a strong network to recruit from. The fact that Niklas Zennström and Sam Nurmi are backing us is important to our European network. With this investment we will also become a fully american company”, Jens Nylander says.
The money will be used to increase efforts in marketing and sales.
Automile was founded in 2014, among the previous investors are Point Nine Capital and Dawn Capital. Jens Nylanders company has sales at an annual rate of $2.3 million (SEK 20 million), with an annual growth rate of 300 percent (article in Swedish).