Home / Tech News / Caura, an app to take the hassle out of car ownership, launches from Echo co-founder Sai Lakshmi

Caura, an app to take the hassle out of car ownership, launches from Echo co-founder Sai Lakshmi


Mirakl Connect.n

u201cMirakl Connect is a platform that is going to be the single entry point for everybody in the marketplace ecosystem, from sellers to operators and partners,u201d Corrot said.n

For sellers, itu2019s quite obvious. You can create a company profile and promote products on multiple marketplaces at once. But the company is also starting to work with payment service providers, fulfillment companies, feed aggregators and other partners. The company wants to become a one-stop shop on marketplaces with those partners.n

Overall, Mirakl-powered marketplaces have generated $1.2 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) during the first half of 2020. It represents a 111% year-over-year increase, despite the economic crisis.n

With todayu2019s funding round, the company plans to expand across all areas u2014 same features, same business model, but with more resources. It plans to hire 500 engineers and scale its sales and customer success teams.n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

French startup Mirakl has raised a $300 million funding round at a $1.5 billion valuation u2014 the company is now a unicorn. Mirakl helps you launch and manage a marketplace on your e-commerce website. Many customers also rely on Mirakl-powered marketplaces for B2B transactions. 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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.nn

He has written over 2,500 articles on technology and tech startups and has established himself as an influential voice on the European tech scene. He has a deep background in startups, privacy, blockchain, security, fintech, mobile, social and media.nn

With eight years of experience at TechCrunch, heu2019s one of the familiar faces of the tech publication that obsessively covers Silicon Valley and the tech industry. In fact, his career started at TechCrunch when he was 21. Based in Paris, many people in the tech ecosystem consider him as the most knowledgeable tech journalist in town.nn

Romain likes to spot important startups before anyone else. He was the first person to cover N26, Revolut and DigitalOcean. He has written scoops on large acquisitions from Apple, Microsoft and Snap.nn

When heu2019s not writing, Romain is also a developer u2014 he understands how the tech behind the tech works. He also has a deep historical knowledge of the computer industry for the past 50 years. He knows how to connect the dots between innovations and the effect on the fabric of our society.nn

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He has written over 2,500 articles on technology and tech startups and has established himself as an influential voice on the European tech scene. He has a deep background in startups, privacy, blockchain, security, fintech, mobile, social and media.nn

With eight years of experience at TechCrunch, heu2019s one of the familiar faces of the tech publication that obsessively covers Silicon Valley and the tech industry. In fact, his career started at TechCrunch when he was 21. Based in Paris, many people in the tech ecosystem consider him as the most knowledgeable tech journalist in town.nn

Romain likes to spot important startups before anyone else. He was the first person to cover N26, Revolut and DigitalOcean. He has written scoops on large acquisitions from Apple, Microsoft and Snap.nn

When heu2019s not writing, Romain is also a developer u2014 he understands how the tech behind the tech works. He also has a deep historical knowledge of the computer industry for the past 50 years. He knows how to connect the dots between innovations and the effect on the fabric of our society.nn

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Caura, a new U.K. startup that aims to take the hassle out of car ownership, is breaking cover today. Founded by Sai Lakshmi, who previously co-founded Echo, the medication management service acquired by LloydsPharmacy owner McKesson, Caura is an iOS app designed to manage all of the vehicle-related admin that car owners endure.n

Drivers are on-boarded to Caura by entering their vehicle registration number. They’ll then be able to manage parking, tolls, MOT, road tax, car insurance and congestion charges — a “one-stop shop” app in a similar vain to Echo, perhaps. The idea is that Caura minimises car ownership admin and helps to mitigate associated penalty fines.n

“After my girlfriend racked up hundreds of pounds of parking fines, I started doing market research,” explains Lakshmi. “It was clear there was an opportunity to build something in the space that made life easier for drivers — after all, Iu2019d just spent the past seven years thinking about how to make the NHS run smoothly — this should be easy in comparison! I toyed with several different models, including hardware, and after a few pretty direct conversations with some Apple engineering folks, decided to focus on the software platform: it would be more accessible to more people and easier to integrate with private and public services weu2019d need to interface with if we wanted to be a one-stop shop for your car.”

n

Lakshmi says that after purchasing his first car that shipped with Apple CarPlay, he was “blown away” by how slick the interface is for entertainment, communication and maps, but also became convinced there was more to be done in this space. “I then thought it would be brilliant to have one single app to add all your vehicle-related payments to streamline the experience, improve vehicle compliance and make paying for parking and the ever-changing digital road landscape simple,” he says.n

""

Image Credits: Cauran

Once you’ve downloaded the app and entered your vehicle registration number, you can view the status of your caru2019s tax, MOT and insurance renewal dates. From the home screen, you can also pay for selected parking, toll roads and congestion charges.n

The FCA-approved app integrates with Apple Pay or will safely store payment details, which can be used to pay car charges “in just two clicks.” In-app notifications also remind you when it’s time to pay, with Caura promising to reduce the millions of automated fines or penalty charge notices that are issued to Brits each year.n

“There are dozens of platforms that drivers need to manage just one car,” notes Lakshmi. “On a more regular basis, you need a dozen parking apps and other websites to manage your drive. These all have their own log-ins, forms and payment details and the whole experience is a dog’s dinner. There are apps that insist on CVC codes being entered every time you use them and others that insist on SMS messages for reminders, which is so 2000, not 2020. Also, if you get any of this wrong, you get lumped with automated fines.”n

Caura can be used for a single vehicle, but can also support multiple registered vehicles, meaning it can potentially scale for fleet managers. An Android version is also promised by the end of the year.n

Lakshmi says he and his co-founders — Shaun Foce (director of engineering) and Bhavin Kotecha (chief of staff and finance director) — have already raised u00a31.4 million for Caura. Backing comes from various unnamed angels, although he says 50% of Caura’s investors have connections to his previous company.n

Asked how the startup generates revenue, “Right now, we donu2019t,” replies the Caura founder. “Weu2019re just passing through these payments to the final provider like congestion charge and parking. Given the seismic shift in investor mindset from crazy growth to building profitable businesses, our long-term business model is most certainly something with sustainable unit economics. Itu2019s currently in the oven and weu2019re really excited to share more in Q4 2020 later this year.”n”,”protected”:false,”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

Caura, a new U.K. startup that aims to take the hassle out of car ownership, is breaking cover today. Founded by Sai Lakshmi, who previously co-founded Echo, the medication management service acquired by LloydsPharmacy owner McKesson, Caura is an iOS app designed to manage all of the vehicle-related admin that car owners endure. Drivers are […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:1180458,”featured_media”:2049216,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”carmot_uuid”:”9f35c92b-c387-3eca-9655-91f560fb3606″,”categories”:[449557102,449557096,17396],”tags”:[576809443,576810085],”crunchbase_tag”:[576810088],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_ec_category”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/s4.jpg”,”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/3hTy9NS”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[“slug”:”sai-lakshmi”,”cb_name”:”Sai Lakshmi”,”cb_slug”:”sai-lakshmi-person”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/person/sai-lakshmi”],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[1180458],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2049199″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=2049199″],”version-history”:[“count”:11,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2049199/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:2049785,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2049199/revisions/2049785″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1180458″],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=2049199&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1180458″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/2049216″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=2049199″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=2049199″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=2049199″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=2049199″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=2049199″,”taxonomy”:”tc_ec_category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_ec_category?post=2049199″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=2049199″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:1180458,”name”:”Steve O’Hear”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/steve-o-hear/”,”slug”:”steve-o-hear”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://www.ohear.net”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/sohear”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/ohear”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/steve-ohear”,”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

Steve O’Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products.nn

He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch’s coverage in Europe.nn

In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy.nn

Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog ‘The Social Web’), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary ‘In Search of the Valley’, which was released in September 2006.nn

In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He’s also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an ‘ideas incubator’ he co-founded with Pete Harris.nn

Disclaimer: Steve owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, and doesn’t generally write about crypto currencies. If and when he does, he will always disclose any potential conflict of interest.”,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1452432375/ejtyu0auvnxnmocnllgn.png”,”twitter”:”sohear”,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1180458″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”]],”author”:[“id”:1180458,”name”:”Steve O’Hear”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/steve-o-hear/”,”slug”:”steve-o-hear”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/95b8a6df6d265cf57a4d89ee4856ea98?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://www.ohear.net”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/sohear”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/ohear”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/steve-ohear”,”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

Steve O’Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products.nn

He first joined TechCrunch in November 2009 as Contributing Editor for TechCrunch Europe, where he worked alongside Editor Mike Butcher to help build TechCrunch’s coverage in Europe.nn

In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, private alpha and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy.nn

Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog ‘The Social Web’), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary ‘In Search of the Valley’, which was released in September 2006.nn

In 2002, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. He’s also one half of ProtoBake Labs, an ‘ideas incubator’ he co-founded with Pete Harris.nn

Disclaimer: Steve owns a small amount of cryptocurrency, and doesn’t generally write about crypto currencies. 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