FORBES - is launching in Q3 shopping on the dashboard of cars with one of the largest head unit dashboard manufacturers and along with top car companies. Drivers will be able use Mavi’s technology to request that their connected cars recommend, order, pay for and coordinate pickup of coffee, meals, groceries and must-have items like phone chargers, flowers and personal care products. Drivers will also be able to use Mavi to coordinate with service providers such as dry cleaners and parking garages, so they can make fewer trips and get what they need whenever and wherever they’re driving.

“It’s a lot safer than what we’re doing now,” said Cynthia Hollen, CEO and co-founder of “Americans spend an hour a day, on average, in their cars, waiting until they get home or shopping an app in their lap while they’re driving down the road. It’s not very easy to try to do your errands while you’re moving around.”

Mavi facilitates convenient OnMyWay commerce in any 4G-integrated vehicle that allows payments, connecting the car’s interface and data to retailers’ and service providers’ e-commerce platforms, while taking into account inventory as well as the driver’s location, route, destination, order and payment preferences, and loyalty program memberships. Mavi will initially be available through the Harman Ignite Store, the leading connected driving platform in the market, which ensures applications are tailored specifically for the vehicle experience through additional security, safety, privacy and driver distraction guidelines.

“OnMyWay shopping is essentially helping us use what the car is great at doing, which is knowing where I am and knowing where I’m going, to help do the errands that you’re already trying to do, more efficiently,” Hollen said. “This is not about picking out a fabulous new outfit while you’re supposed to be paying attention to the road. It’s about helping you grab a cup of coffee on your way to work or pick up your groceries on your way home from work. It has a voice component on the dashboard, which speaks to the safety aspect.”

Mavi also said it has closed a $1.77 million investment from an affiliate of the Jay Schottenstein family and a group of angel investors, which includes former Amazon executives and other retail leaders. The company also said its Mavi OnMyWay solution, which brings safe, easy, curated shopping to the dashboard of consumers’ favorite connected cars, will be available via the Harman Ignite Store connected vehicle platform beginning in mid-2022 in vehicles equipped with Harman Ignite. The company also announced retail brand pilots with innovation partners BurgerFi and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, with more partnerships to be announced in the second quarter.

Other angel investors in’s seed round included James Thomson, Chief Strategy Officer at Buy Box Experts and former Head of Business for Selling on Amazon; Thomas Plaster, a former Principal Product Manager and Senior Business Development Manager at Amazon; Debbie Kiederer, Founder and Principal of ChalkDust Consulting and President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of New York; and Double S Group, a South Florida technology investment group.

Mavi’s system can also be used to shop at interim places when a driver is pulled over and parked. “The main thing about OnMyWay commerce is not to focus on that while you’re doing other high stakes things while you're driving,” Hollen said. “This is helping you coordinate errand-running while you’re in transit.”

For example, Hollen said Mavi’s technology can be used to pick up lunch “on my way to the office. Really, there is nothing that helps us do that very well now, because you have a store near you and you know the local store near your office, but you don’t necessarily know how soon you’re going to be at your office. Let’s say I want to pick up pizza and take it home, my car knows exactly when I'm going to get there, because my car knows my route and it knows my traffic and it knows my ETA.

“Let’s say I want to pick up pizza and take it home,” Hollen said, noting that the regular pizza she normally gets will ready for her at her regular pizza parlor. “It’s going to be hot and ready for you when you get there. My car is going to continue to communicate with the restaurant as I’m on my way, to say, ‘She's 10 minutes away, she’s 5 minutes away,’ etc.”

With 86% of U.S. retailers capable of doing curb-side pickup, consumers can now use Mavi without constantly checking their email or app to let the store know when they’re coming.

“Where am I supposed to park, I have to put my glasses on, take my glasses off, reading all this stuff. None of that stuff should be happening on my phone, my car knows where I am, so a little button shows up on the dashboard of my car as I’m pulling into the parking lot, saying, ‘We’re expecting you, go to parking space number three and we’ll be right out with your order.’”

The opportunity for On My Way commerce is no insignificant. According to Hollen, the market for instant commerce last year was $400 billion.

“Those are the kinds of things that make shopping while I'm OnMyWay so much more logical and convenient than what we’re all doing now,” Hollen said. “And of course, the retailers are thrilled that we're finally bringing customers back to their doorsteps, rather than having to meet you at home.

“We don’t want you distracted,” Hollen added. “We’re very much focused on curating the important things you need to do, the most common things people need when they’re on their way. It’s what customers are telling us they want – snacks that I need now, things I want to take home, milk that I forgot to buy at the grocery store, a cell phone charger that I forgot to take on the way to a meeting. I just need to know a quick place where I can pick that up.”

However, Hollen is hearing from moms who they actually want to do things like search a catalog for dresses or other products. “In the 20 minutes between dropping Susie off at tennis and picking Bobby up from swim practice, it can help me pick up those shoes I need for a wedding,” Hollen said. “We’re talking to some of the major shopping malls about how to integrate with their valet/concierge pick-up services to better enable things like returns and pickups, but sitting there and flipping through a bunch of gowns? No, not until you have a much bigger screen and autonomous driving in your car.

“Screens are getting bigger and bigger and bigger in cars every day, so we believe that as the best possible location and transit and errand-sensitive part of your shopping journey, the more we get to autonomous vehicles and the more you're going to be doing other kinds of things in your car, the better positioned we are to help you with those other kinds of OnMyWay shopping trips, Hollen said.

“Whenever autonomous vehicles are available, whether it’s five years or 10 years from now, for the 85 of American trips that are single-driver, you're going to have to do that [scroll through catalogs] while you’re sitting in the parking lot waiting,” Hollen continued. “Millennials are asking for that already. They're asking us to let them shop from a catalog while they’re waiting for something else. So, let's take that same AI learning and apply it to food and snacks first, and there's no reason, because we're partnering with all the retailers, that we can’t use all the brilliance of the retailers and all the brilliance of our own AI and machine learning to put those two things together.”

As an example, Hollen cited a loyal Bloomingdale's shopper, and the fact that the retailer already know s a lot about her style preferences. “You can pair your Bloomingdale's account with us, or, rather, you’ll be able to, in the second generation. Then, because I know that you're in New York and it's raining out, and you're driving in such and such a direction, I can add that information and context information to what Bloomingdale's already knows about you.”

That will be a powerful combination, Hollen said, adding, “Right now we're working on the exact same model that all the delivery companies are using. We’re significantly lowering the cost of delivery. I call it, ‘next mile’ shopping instead of last mile shopping because the money that's going to the delivery companies now is a pretty significant percentage of your transaction. We could take a fraction of that and make it better for the retailer, cheaper for the customer, cheaper for the retailer better for us and get some of those delivery drivers off the road, so it will be better for the environment.”

Sharon Edelson

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