Smart ridesharing co Via raises $400m

Daniel Ramot, Oren Shoval  photo: David Malka

The financing round at a company valuation of $2.25 billion was led by Fiat owner Exor NV, which is investing $200 million.

Israeli smart rideshare infrastructure company Via Transportation Inc. announced this evening that it has raised a Series E financing round at a company valuation of $2.25 billion, after money, led by EXOR NV, which is investing $200 million. Via did not disclose the full value of the financing round but sources close to the deal say that the total financing round has reached $400 million.

Exor NV. is the holding company of Italy's Agnelli family, which owns Fiat, Chrysler, Ferrari, UK magazine "The Economist" and Italian football champions Juventus. Noam Ohana, head of EXOR Seeds, the early stage investment arm of EXOR, will join Via’s Board of Directors.

Via was established in 2012 in Israel by CEO Daniel Ramot and VP development Oren Shoval and the company is today headquartered in New York with its development center in Tel Aviv.

Also participating in the current financing round are new investors Shell Ventures, Macquarie Capital and Mori Building as well as existing investors Pitango Venture Capital, Hearst Ventures, Roman Abramovich's Ervington Investments, Planven Ventures, 83North, Broadscale Group and Riverpark Ventures. Via has raised over $600 million to date including the latest financing round.

Via has developed a dynamic transportation system, which uses algorithms to adapt ridesharing routes to passenger needs. Minibuses or large shared taxis which use the company's technology collect passengers from pre-arranged stops. Passengers order the ride via an app and are told where to catch the vehicle from a nearby point. Routes are adjusted in real time according to passenger demand, traffic congestion and other factors.

Via already operates in 100 cities worldwide using various business models. In some cities Via offers its technology as happens in Tel Aviv with the Bubble service - a collaboration between Dan and Israel's Ministry of Transport. In other cities, Via wins tenders to operate bus routes and in other locations Via acts as a private operator which leases vehicles and runs a network of smart minibuses. Profitability varies from model to model.

Via cofounders Oren Shoval and Daniel Ramot said, "We are honored to partner with John, Noam, and the EXOR team to help cities provide accessible, affordable, and environmentally-friendly transit to their residents. Especially in these difficult times, we greatly value EXOR’s commitment to Via’s vision of a dynamic, data-driven public mobility system that provides more cost-effective and equitable transport to communities everywhere. During this emergency period, we are proud to apply our technology and operational expertise to assist cities with optimizing transit networks, transporting essential workers, and delivering goods and services to individuals in need."

EXOR CEO and chairman John Elkann said, "At this uniquely challenging moment it is more important than ever to work determinedly for the innovative and sustainable future beyond these difficult days. Partnering with Daniel and Oren and their outstanding team to support the development of their powerful problem-solving technology confirms our strong and positive engagement with them and underlines EXOR’s continuing commitment to building great companies for a better tomorrow."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 30, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Daniel Ramot, Oren Shoval  photo: David Malka
Daniel Ramot, Oren Shoval photo: David Malka
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