NEEDHAM, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Illume Software, a pioneer in mobile software solutions and developer of the popular iZUP mobile application for the management of distracted driving, has secured $2.4 million in new funding from the Massachusetts Technology Development Corp. (MTDC) and prominent individual investors. A leader in the growing mobile safety space, Illume software has raised a total of $6.5 million since its inception in 2009.
“Supporting growing businesses can make the difference between having the next big company start in Massachusetts or elsewhere. We are encouraged by what today's announcement will mean for Illume and the future of Massachusetts’ innovation economy.”
The new financing comes in response to strong market demand for its iZUP software. It will allow Illume Software to ramp up sales and development of iZUP to the corporate and consumer markets, as well as support general corporate activities.
"The Patrick-Murray Administration recognizes the vital role small businesses and start ups play in our economy," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. “Supporting growing businesses can make the difference between having the next big company start in Massachusetts or elsewhere. We are encouraged by what today's announcement will mean for Illume and the future of Massachusetts’ innovation economy.”
Walter (Jerry) Bird Appointed to Board of Directors
In conjunction with the new financing, Walter (Jerry) Bird of the MTDC has been appointed to the Illume Board of Directors.
“We are pleased to welcome MTDC as an outstanding investor and to partner with a long time advocate of promoting leading technology solutions in Massachusetts,” said Dan Ross, CEO of Illume. With nearly one-third of all accidents caused by mobile phone distractions, and those accidents causing not only thousands of lost lives per year but also tens of billions in lost products and services, investors have seen that iZUP is becoming not just a safety solution, but an economic imperative. In addition, we welcome Jerry to our Board of Directors.”
The iZUP application uses GPS technology and other sensors to temporarily disable communications functions on mobile devices while driving, keeping drivers’ attention on the road, and not their cell phones. The application has hit a nerve nationwide, where concerns surrounding distracted driving by the general population, as well as corporate travelers, has reached an all-time high. In fact, 33 states have enacted anti-distracted driving laws. In Illume’s home state of Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick’s Safe Driving Law went into effect on September 20, 2010.
“As investors, we saw the opportunity to not only make an investment in an experienced team that will create jobs in Massachusetts, but also to support a new law around ending casualties from distracted driving in Massachusetts and the rest of the US,” said Bird of the MTDC. “MTDC surveyed the market and found the industry leader right in our own backyard, and we are thrilled to be a part of the movement.”
iZUP has been awarded a “thumbs up” from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, has been recognized by the mobile industry with its “Fierce15” award, and was recently reviewed by The New York Times as “the only rock solid app in its class.” iZUP is the only application available that can effectively eliminate driver distraction from mobile communications without user interaction. Originally offered to consumers, iZUP now leads the market providing mobile distracted driving solutions to corporations, insurance companies, trucking fleets and mobile carriers.
iZUP is available on a wide variety of Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Android handsets. iZUP pricing is $2.95 monthly for a single user, annually $19.95; family plan is $5.95 monthly and $59.95 annually.
About Illume Software (www.getizup.com)
With headquarters in the Boston area, Illume Software is led by experienced mobile, telecom, internet, and media veterans and boasts a board and advisors of prominent business, political, financial, and technology leaders. Illume has been named to the leadership council of the Distracted Driving Safety Association in Washington. iZUP, is the only solution that effectively eliminates all cell phone related distractions for drivers and is the first of many products to come from the company.