B.C. tech start-up goes under the hood to give drivers their data

Click to play video: 'Vancouver tech company teams with electronic giant for cars of the future'
Vancouver tech company teams with electronic giant for cars of the future
WATCH: Vancouver tech company teams with electronic giant for cars of the future – Jan 11, 2019

A Vancouver based technology company is rethinking the way people interact with their cars.

Mojio is making driving a lot smarter — in the technological sense.

With little more than a cell phone and a dongle that attaches to the car’s OBDII port, drivers can now get access to all of their data. Everything from acceleration and braking information to GPS and diagnostics.

“What Mojio does is take the data, which is stored in the cloud, and make sense of it, generating really meaningful user experiences that people can use in their everyday lives.

“Customers can use the data how they want to use it. They can send their data to the insurance carrier they want to use, or to the mechanic they trust,” says Mojio’s Kyle MacDonald.

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Mojio launched in Vancouver with a focus on consumer sales, but in 2015 pivoted away to partner with mobile providers.

In Canada all the major telecoms have user pay apps that customers can download, tracking their driving behaviour.

Mojio is also in seven other countries, with a partnership just announced with German manufacturing giant Bosch.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the two companies rolled out emergency roadside services to potentially millions of customers.

“There is a lot of hype around autonomous, or self-driving vehicles. But the reality is thee are more than 1.2 billion cars on the road that are completely unconnected,” says MacDonald.

The market potential is enormous, but the resources to capitalize on it have been difficult to come by.

Mojio is like a lot of Vancouver startups. In order to scale rapidly, they have been forced to relocate large parts of the business to Silicon Valley.

According to the BC Tech Association, that is one of the biggest challenges facing the tech industry in the province.

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A recent KPMG report ranked B.C. as the best place in Canada to launch a startup, but there are a couple of issues that are holding the industry back from growing small companies into large economic engines.

Recruitment and retention of staff has been a constant issue in the industry.

“Historically our failure to scale has come as a failure of capital. We just didn’t have enough money,” said BC Tech Association CEO Jill Tipping.

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“That is not so much the case anymore. What we struggle with now is that we just don’t have the talent.”

Now the association is focusing some of its attention on government, pushing elected officials to open up more university spaces for tech specialties, but also seats in business schools.

Much of the growth of the industry depends on securing a long term, stable talent pool.

Mojio is in a similar position.

With offices now in Bulgaria, India, as well as California the team is desperate to ramp up its hiring to meet its growth targets.

The Vancouver startup has its sights set on capitalizing on an auto industry that is ready for a significant technological shift.


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