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BGF invests £3.2m into ‘fitbit for cars’ company Lightfoot

Investment news
20.11.2018.

Lightfoot, the makers of the first connected car technology to reward better drivers, today announces it has received £3.2m in funding from BGF. It also welcomes former CEO of Dyson, Martin McCourt, as an investor and non-executive Chairman, and Ned Dorbin of BGF to the board.

Described as the ‘Fitbit for cars’, Lightfoot’s in-car technology enables drivers to monetise their everyday driving with prizes, discounts and rewards in recognition of their smooth driving style.

Lightfoot drivers have access to a range of exclusive discounts on insurance, dining, high-street shopping, and holidays. On top of this, users can enter competitions and leagues to win prizes and weekly cash giveaways, all of which give better driving genuine monetary value. Previous winners have turned their good driving into trips to Paris, Sonos speakers, a year’s supply of pies and even meeting and racing against F1 world champion, Nigel Mansell.

Drivers who want the upper hand can even activate Lightfoot’s real-time, in-cab feedback to help them achieve the ‘Elite Driver’ standard.  This unique functionality uses F1-style live analytics to help drivers stay within their engine’s ‘sweet spot’, typically resulting in a reduction in fuel costs and emissions by as much as 20% and at-fault accidents by as much as 40%.

Launched in 2013 by entrepreneur Mark Roberts, Lightfoot has successfully disrupted the fleet sector by focusing on rewarding good driving rather than the traditional method of penalising bad driving. With over 20,000 drivers now using Lightfoot across over 150 clients including Virgin Media, Dixons Carphone, Southern Water, Ecotricity, Greencore and Dyno Rod, the company is now bringing the benefits of smoother driving to private motorists in the UK with their consumer launch, with plans to expand the proposition globally already underway.

The BGF investment puts further weight behind Lightfoot’s global aspirations and UK consumer launch. BGF’s funding will be used to drive growth in Lightfoot’s fleet business, its expansion into the consumer market and the continued recruitment of highly-skilled talent across the business.

Having already doubled their headcount in 2018, Lightfoot plans to do the same again by the end of 2019. This summer, the company relocated to a new custom-designed office – Innovation Valley – to accommodate this rapid growth.

Mark Roberts, Lightfoot’s founder and CEO, said: “We’re on a mission to change the way people think about driving. And to make it fun again. We want everyone to enjoy the amazing benefits that smoother driving can have on their wallets and our planet. So far, we’ve created a community of Lightfoot drivers who are earning better deals for better driving – now, we’re excited to grow this with more like-minded motorists who believe good driving deserves rewarding.

“Our growth to date is a great testament to the hard work and commitment of the Lightfoot team. We believe that now is the right time to accelerate our expansion by bringing on board more people and increasing our engineering and sales capacity. We’re delighted to be embarking on this new stage with Martin and with the support and funding from BGF as our new minority partner.”

Ned Dorbin, BGF investor and new Board member of Lightfoot said: “Lightfoot is a vibrant, smart and ambitious business with a first-class management team. After five years of operation, they have established a strong reputation in the market and developed a clear strategy for growth. We’re pleased to be backing another fantastic business in the South West.”

Martin McCourt, new investor, Lightfoot Chairman and former CEO at Dyson said: “Lightfoot has top class technology and engineering capabilities, the brand is fresh and approachable and when you walk into Lightfoot HQ you hit a wall of energy from a noisy bunch who are passionate about the benefits their product offers the planet. The parallels to my past are abundant – proud British engineering, disruptive technology and a team who can deliver… there’s a lot to be excited about!”

BGF is the most active investor for entrepreneurs and growing businesses in the UK. The South West team, based in Bristol, have recently completed investments into Seasalt, Hydrock, Molson and Plantforce.

The investment into Lightfoot was led for BGF by Ned Dorbin, Edwin Davies and James Skade.

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