REDMOND, Wash. – April 11, 2005 – In an oversubscribed round co-led by two of the country’s top venture capital firms, Inrix today announced it has secured $6.1 million in Series A funding and will enter into the traffic information market with an unrivaled set of technologies licensed exclusively from Microsoft Research. Its mission: to revolutionize the way people get from point A to point B.
The Pacific Northwest-based technology company, headed by former Microsoft Corp. and Expedia, Inc. executives Bryan Mistele, Craig Chapman and Seth Eisner, will be backed by August Capital and Venrock Associates. With more than 60 years of combined mobile services and automotive telematics development, predictive modeling, management and business expertise, these executives have set out to alleviate the stresses of gridlock traffic using patented predictive, real-time traffic technology from Microsoft.
“We are proud to receive the largest Series A funding for a software company in Seattle in the last two years and will use the funds to simplify the lives of the average commuter,” said Inrix Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Mistele. “Traffic congestion has increased dramatically in recent years costing commuters dearly in time and fuel. Inrix is well-equipped to address this problem by providing nationwide, real-time, predictive traffic information.”
The exclusive beneficiary of investment and research into the statistical inference of traffic patterns, predictive analysis and mobile-based visualizations of real time systems, Inrix will leverage Microsoft’s proprietary technologies to enable the delivery of next generation traffic information services.
“We believe innovation is fundamental to progress and growth in the IT industry, and through IP licensing of Microsoft Research technology, we are able to get innovations into the hands of consumers and at the same time provide new opportunities for companies,” said Daniel Ling, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research. “After three years of developing and testing the technology, we are pleased that Inrix will bring it to the market.”
The intellectual property developed by Microsoft Research includes several innovations. The technology employs sophisticated Bayesian analysis, and synthesizes a number of relevant variables such as weather conditions, construction schedules, holidays, sporting events, and historical traffic patterns to provide up-to-the-minute predictive travel information.
“The Inrix executive team is passionate, capable, and experienced,” added August Capital Co-founder John Johnston. “As a result, we are excited to establish a strong investment in Inrix.”
The traffic technology from Microsoft Research is already in use by more than 3,000 pilot customers in the Seattle area. Inrix will roll out the traffic technology across the country by the end of this year.
“We believe Inrix is uniquely positioned to become a leader in its industry by providing a valuable and dynamic service to the public,” said Tony Sun, managing general partner at Venrock Associates.
Mistele and Chapman both recently left positions in the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft to start Inrix. Mistele’s years as a general manager and entrepreneur within Microsoft and success in building four businesses within the company (Mobile Services, Automotive Telematics and Mobile Speech, HomeAdvisor Technologies Inc., and Microsoft Investor and MSN MoneyCentral) provide him with the knowledge, background and expertise to succeed in his role as CEO.
Craig Chapman, chief technology officer, is an accomplished development engineer and architect with nearly 30 years experience developing software and hardware systems. Seth Eisner, vice president of Operations, previously managed global operations at Expedia.
Joining the Inrix board of directors are John Johnston, co-founder of August Capital; Dan Grossman, principal at Venrock Associates; and Bryan Mistele, Inrix founder and CEO.