Al Gore fund invests $10 million in GreenRoad project

Fuel-efficient product provides drivers and fleet managers with smart analysis of driving behavior.

By RON FRIEDMAN
February 24, 2010 12:53
2 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

al gore 311. (photo credit: Bloomberg)

 
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Israeli-founded technology firm GreenRoad announced Monday that it had received $10 million in investment funds from former US vice president Al Gore’s Generation IM Climate Solutions Fund to accelerate the deployment of its GreenRoad 360 service. GreenRoad’s product provides drivers and fleet managers with smart analysis of driving behavior and coaches them on how to improve fuel efficiency.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, founder and safety chief Hod Fleishman spoke about the company’s product and his pride in the association with Gore’s fund.

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“Our development focuses on two main objectives: reducing traffic accidents and reducing pollution by improving driver efficiency,” said Fleishman. “We found that drivers who were involved in accidents also use up the most fuel. It all boils down to behavior. Our product aims to correct both.”

GreenRoad’s customers are typically companies that own large vehicle fleets, where improvements in fuel efficiency mean large savings.

"Overall, our customers report a 7-10% decrease in fuel expenses and 30-50% decrease in accidents,” said Fleishman.

GreenRoad 360 offers a smart network made up of sensors, an accelerometer, a GPS and proprietary algorithms to calculate the relative risk of different driving maneuvers. The information collected by the system is displayed on-screen for the benefit of the driver and transmitted to a central location for access by management.

The system collects the data and, based on its findings, provides coaching instructions on how to improve safety and efficiency.



According to Fleishman, most of GreenRoad’s clientele is based in Europe and the United States.

“Despite the fact that we originated in Israel and our research and development headquarters are there, we don’t have much business there,” said Fleishman.

Forty-five employees – half of the company’s personnel – are based at the company’s Beit Dagan facility.

GreenRoad’s other investors include British entrepreneur Richard Branson through his Virgin Green fund and other funds such as Amadeus, Benchmark, Balderton and DAG. Fleishman said the company is increasingly relying on sales for continued development and growth.

“We are happy that our work is being recognized by environmentalists.

It opens investment paths and is also a tribute to our professional credentials,” said Fleishman. “It’s important to see that while the world is looking to the future with electric vehicles and alternative energy sources, there are things that can be done right now to help reduce pollution and save on energy.”


Fleishman said that the company, now based in California, is proud of its Israeli roots.

“We all know the potential that Israel has in the cleantech sector and we put our association with Israel front and center in all our meetings.”

While currently focusing on the commercial sector, Fleishman said that in the future the company is planning to expand to the private sector too.

“We work in cooperation with insurance companies, which recognize the value of our system.”

He said Israel was a prime target for private sector business because of the relatively high insurance premiums on young drivers.

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