Returning from a much-deserved long weekend, Chicago tech is kicking off September with a bang.
ForeverCar, a local startup that lets car owners protect themselves against breakdowns, announced on Tuesday the close of a $15 million funding round.
Founder and CEO Mark Hodes said the company’s tech roadmap includes a substantial investment in chatbot technology.
“We’ll be putting an increased emphasis on creating a virtual agent, which can detect patterns and answer the user’s questions,” he said. “For us, that means we won’t need to rely as heavily on human agents as we scale.”
Hodes said the company expects much of that customer service to be delivered through Facebook Messenger.
Founded in 2012, ForeverCar sells vehicle service contracts directly to consumers whose cars are not covered by manufacturer warranty. Its online platform combines market data with predictive analytics and a survey about the user’s driving habits to help them find the most suitable vehicle service plan.
In the case of a breakdown, ForeverCar matches the consumer with a customer service representative who handles the logistics of arranging for a rental, getting the car towed and coordinating and negotiating with the repair shop.
ForeverCar currently has 25 employees, split between two offices in downtown Chicago and the O’Hare corridor. Hodes said he expects the company to move in to a new downtown office by the end of the year.
He also expects the company to continue to grow its employee base in the upcoming year, although he declined to share any specifics.
Existing investors, including CMFG Ventures, Method Capital and SAP Fieldglass founder Jai Shekhawat contributed $3 million in equity financing. The remainder came in the form of a $12 million debt facility, managed by City Capital Advisors.
ForeverCar raised a $10 million Series A in October 2016, bringing its total funding to $25 million.
Image via Shutterstock.
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