Israeli on-demand transit company Via announced today that it has raised $100 million in Series C funding. The startup has already closed $70 million in financing with a further $30 million in strategic investment to close in the coming weeks. This is the largest amount raised by an Israeli startup this year.
The funding was led by Pitango Growth, who were joined by leading venture capital firms, family offices, and strategic investors from North America, Europe, and Asia, including Poalim Capital Markets and C4 Ventures. Previous investors Ervington Investments (representing Roman Abramovich), Hearst Ventures, and 83North (formerly Greylock IL) also participated in this latest financing round. The latest funds bring Via’s total investment to $137 million.
Via cofounders Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval said, “Via is creating the public transit system of the future. With existing transportation infrastructure straining and in some cases failing to meet rising demand across the globe, Via’s dynamic bus system offers cities a smart solution to traffic congestion and emissions. We’re delighted to have secured significant backing for our vision: eliminating single-occupancy vehicle trips by creating a mass transit system powered by advanced algorithms and data.”
Headquartered in New York City, the company's development center is in Tel Aviv. Operating in New York City and Chicago, Via enables tens of thousands of passengers each day to seamlessly share their ride with others headed the same way. Via’s algorithms dynamically match passengers with available seats instead of entire vehicles, creating a highly affordable, convenient, and premium bus service, while keeping trip durations similar to a private taxi. The algorithm’s smart routing allows passengers to be picked up and dropped off in an endless stream, without taking riders out of their way to accommodate other passengers. This enables the platform to move a high volume of riders while using a fraction of the number of vehicles utilized by other on-demand car services.
“Via’s impressive technology and top-notch team have proven their ability to solve the complex computational and operational challenges of constructing an intelligent transportation system for the 21st century,” said Isaac Hillel, managing general partner of Pitango Growth. “As the only platform built from the ground up to provide a true public transit solution, we see unique opportunities for Via to capture significant market share in the rapidly evolving transportation market."
The financing will be used to drive growth in NYC and Chicago, to expand into new cities, and to aid municipalities and transit authorities seeking to improve their public transit services by using Via’s technology. In addition, the funds will support strategic partnerships to operate Via’s platform in novel environments, such as the collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America currently underway in suburban South Orange County, California.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 5, 2016
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