Drivetime nabs $11M from Makers Fund, Amazon and Google to build voice-based games for drivers
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Fully autonomous cars may (or may not(https://www.wired.com/story/future-of-transportation-self-driving-cars-reality-check/)) be just around the corner(https://emerj.com/ai-adoption-timelines/self-driving-car-timeline-themselves-top-11-automakers/), but in the meantime, a startup that’s building in-car apps to help human drivers pass the time when behind the wheel has raised a round of funding.
Drivetime(https://www.drivetime.fm/) — which makes voice-based trivia quizzes, games and interactive stories that people can play while driving — has raised $11 million in funding led by Makers Fund (a prolific investor in gaming startups), with participation also from Amazon (via the Alexa Fund) and Google (via its Assistant investment program).
The startup today has eight “channels” on its platform consisting of games and stories that you can access either within a limited free-to-play tier or via a paid subscription ($9.99 a month or $99.99 a year). The plan is to use the funding to continue expanding that catalog, as well as investing in deeper integrations with its new big-name strategic investors, who themselves have longstanding and deep interests in bringing more voice services and content to the in-car experience.
Co-founder and CEO Niko Vuori told TechCrunch that his ultimate ambition is for Drivetime to become “the Sirius XM of interactive content” for cars, with hundreds of different channels of content.