Car technology companies are a crucial part of the Chicago tech ecosystem's DNA. Howard Tullman founded CCC Information Services here back in 1980, and the 90s brought us companies like NAVTEQ and Cars.com. More recently, startups like DRIVIN, SpotHero and ParkWhiz have made names for themselves with big rounds and even bigger growth.
But Chicago's car tech vertical has a ton of other interesting activity going on. Read on to see what other companies we're keeping on our radar.
Fresh off a $20 million funding round last month, Snapsheet is rapidly becoming one of the biggest names in Chicago car tech. The company makes it easier to submit a claim after a car accident by bringing the entire process onto your mobile device and works with 35 insurance companies to date.
Unless you’re a car expert, you probably don’t have any way to tell if your mechanic is ripping you off. CarAdvise is a tool that connects consumers with auto shops and lets them approve repairs with the proper context. The app explains what each service is, how frequently it should be performed and how much it typically costs.
Sparkl makes keeping your ride fresh more convenient by bringing the car wash to you. The company's car wash service is waterless, and can be performed anywhere where there’s room to walk around the car. It also offers interior cleaning services to help busy parents erase the traces of backseat snack time.
As the behaviors of online consumers evolve, so too must the strategies car dealers employ to reach them. LotLinx, an automotive adtech startup, uses targeted marketing to reach potential car buyers wherever their browsing habits happen to take them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that distracted driving kills eight people in the United States every day, with daily injuries averaging more than 1,100 daily. TextNinja silences text distractions and uses gamification to encourage users to keep their eyes on the road.
In a world where consumers increasingly prefer online shopping to the brick-and-mortar alternative, car dealerships stand out as a rare exception. With an online showroom and within-the-week home delivery, Carlease.com wants to change that. The company offers leases on customizable cars of practically every brand out there, and is rapidly becoming one of the country’s largest car dealerships by volume.
In addition to throwing a wrench in your schedule, a vehicle breakdown can be disastrous for your wallet. ForeverCar is a marketplace for car repair plans that help consumers protect themselves against unexpected economic woes. The company’s proprietary algorithms also help the driver select a coverage plan that fits with their budgets and driving habits.d
Images via Shutterstock and listed companies.