Directed Takes Stake in Telematics Co.

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Directed Electronics has officially purchased a stake in an insurance telematics company called Octo Telematics North America, which could mean plus-business for retail installers.

Directed ElectronicsOcto, and now Directed, are in the business of providing usage based driving info to insurance companies; and they do this through two kinds of OBDII devices: one is self-installed and the other must be professionally installed.

Later this year, the professional device will be made available and Directed’s retail base will have the opportunity to install or service the devices, said Octo VP marketing Rob Martin.

Octo now has its North American offices at Directed headquarters, while Octo’s parent is based in Italy.

Directed will handle all shipping, fulfillment and other business operations, and its retailers will help with installation. Also if problems arise with the self-install OBDII device, then retailers may also be enlisted to help.

Octo and Directed are already working on combining Directed’s SmartStart app, which can remote start a car from a smartphone, with Octo telematics.

Octo’s first customer in the U.S. is Safeco Insurance, based in Seattle. It’s a member of the Liberty Mutual Group.

Directed has a minority stake in the company.

Source: Octo Telematics

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