Carvoyant Drives Turn-key Car Data with its API and TIBCO Mashery
Lean and focused with credible, dependable, flexible API management
"We call ourselves 'data plumbers for connected cars,'" says CEO and founder Bret Tobey. "Our service works across a complex range of vehicles, devices, and telco data interfaces, so that instead of having to figure out each of those components on their own, developers can have a really simple, straightforward, future-proof way of working with connected car data. We make it easy.
"There were many large players getting into the space, so we knew there needed to be a set of tools. We figured if there's a gold rush, we'll sell shovels, picks, and tents. The first business goal was to prove there was demand from the developer side."
"We had always envisioned tools to connect vehicles to folks who supply the consumer experience. But sometimes the consumer is really an enterprise application, there had been fleet management solutions for a long time.
"So, we pushed out this crowd-funded connected-car effort. Several other groups offered similar projects at the same time, but our goal was primarily to get developers first and learn from those folks. We wanted to reach 500 connected vehicles in a really short time and find out what we didn't know about the space. We exceeded our goal, and in just over 90 days, we shipped. This proof of concept highlighted how critical it was to have the right API management partner. Thankfully, we lined up TIBCO Mashery® at the same time.
Ability to Stay Start-Up Lean and Focused
"We were going into a market with inherently long product and business development cycles. So keeping the team together and lean enough to get through that—and concurrently working with very large, very slow companies from an application development perspective was challenging. Mashery gives us flexibility to deal with both those long painful cycles as well as the short, fun, easy ones.
"As a lean team trying to grow and work as fast as possible, we had to make some gut-wrenching decisions about what was core to our business. We had to look at the upside of partnering with the right folks. With Mashery, we got what we hoped for. We're not getting tied up with mundane API management or deployment tasks. We can lean on Mashery infrastructure."
“We were already talking to automakers and insurers, so having an API management system that had some external credibility and the right kind of flexibility so that a super-hardcore developer could jump right into it was a plus. But then, there is also a smooth on-boarding process with Mashery, which is especially important as more people who aren't programmers and don't have developer assistance, like sales and marketing teams, come on."
Dependability, Flexibility, Elasticity
"We live and die by our API. That is our product. Our tools let people deal with the flow of data. Big customers can get a customized flow of information, but the real value of Carvoyant is that a whole range of people can use the data and it doesn't have to be set up in a custom way. It became very clear very quickly that API management had to work well—and if it wasn't something we were watching all the time it was going to come back and bite us. Often we'll see an IP address that's a big company, and they're trying to do some stuff on the sly. We need to deal with large enterprises all the way on down to high school hobbyists, and Mashery provides that.
We're not a typical Mashery customer. Mashery is not our back end, the car is our back end, and we use Mashery as part of our tool chest for front-end flexibility and elasticity. We have to be able to deal with developers who want to slap something together on the fly or do shadow IT. We need elasticity at scale, and we have that with Mashery."
"We're at the point now where people are building businesses on top of Carvoyant, so we know we're doing something right. We can start to connect larger pools of vehicles with paying partners who are creating good consumer experiences. We're shooting to be revenue positive on operational expenses. I believe we're the only startup in the space that's actually an approved supplier for automakers, so we're pretty close."