Porsche and other automakers have invested in startup Urgent.ly, an American company which sees itself as the leading global platform for mobility and roadside assistance.

The financing round amounted to US$21m (EUR18.5m). As well as the investment arm Porsche Ventures, other companies obtained shares in Urgent.ly, including BMW i Ventures and InMotion Ventures, the venture capital division of Jaguar Land Rover.

The US startup's platform supports roadside assistance services in North America, Europe and Asia.

Using artificial intelligence and geolocation, Urgent.ly connects drivers, service providers and automotive manufacturers in real time, thus coordinating the best and fastest help in the event of a breakdown. This means that, from the very beginning, the customer is provided with transparency regarding the location (exact to the second) and the expected arrival time of the roadside assistance provider. In the US, more than half of all roadside assistance providers are already connected to the platform, which serves around 45,000 networked vehicles.

"Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations," said Kilian Sauerwald, director aftersales region and market development at Porsche. "The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment."

"The old model of roadside assistance must make way for a modern, more digital approach," said Kasper Sage, partner, BMW i Ventures. "Urgent.ly will allow OEMs around the world to provide their customers the kind of real-time and connected digital experience they now expect in everything from food delivery to ride-sharing. Urgent.ly enables unparalleled transparency connecting dealerships, OEMs, providers and customers in real time, with actionable data-driven insights to optimize the experience along every step of the way."

BMW i Ventures, has already partnered with innovative companies such as Carbon3D, Chargepoint, Claroty, DesktopMetal, Graphcore, JustPark, Life360, Moovit, Nauto, Scoop, Stratim, Tekion, Turo, Xometry and Zendrive. It invests in all stages from seed and incubation to growth companies.