Zubie, the South Carolina-based leader of the connected car movement, announced a partnership with Telefónica on Oct. 1, beginning its international expansion with one of the largest telecommunication companies in the world. Starting in October, Zubie began marketing its proprietary technology as the O2 Car Connection in Germany.
Now Zubie is expanding its international presence even further through its partnership with Telefónica, marketing in Brazil under the name “Vivo.” The news of the Brazil expansion came on Oct. 16, and Zubie believes that this is a key milestone in its growth strategy, taking the company from its humble beginnings in South Carolina to other markets around the world.
“We are delighted to continue our international expansion with our global partner Telefónica,” said Zubie CEO, Tim Kelly. “The Brazil market opportunity for connected car solutions is robust, and the combination of the local strength of Vivo along with Zubie’s cloud-based data, apps, and car device solution will be very powerful in Brazil.”
The Brazilian expansion was announced at FutureCom 2014, which took place in Sao Paulo this year. In addition to its availability in Brazil, Zubie will be open to Germans starting this month through O2 direct and indirect distribution channels.
“More than 75 percent of people in Germany won’t leave home without their mobile phones, and the car is one of the German consumer’s favorite and most important possessions,” said Peter Rampling, managing director B2C at Telefónica in Germany. “O2 Car Connection brings those two trends together: You are connected with your car at anytime, anywhere via your smartphone.”
The Germany expansion came on the heels of Zubie’s funding round success in August, which was led by Nokia Growth Partners and Magna Automotive. In this round, Zubie raised $8 million for its initiative. In September, Zubie also announced a partnership with Progressive insurance, allowing Zubie customers to earn safe driving discounts on auto insurance.
Zubie, which is headquartered in Charleston, was first founded in 2012. The company produces a key that can be plugged into a vehicle’s diagnostic system, providing users with up-to-the-minute statistics on their automobiles. Additionally, Zubie gives drivers information on their driving habits and fuel usage.