Transit app raises $17.5M with the help of unlikely investors: automakers
- Public transit data app Transit has raised $17.5 million in its latest round of funding.
- The funding will go toward the continued development of the Transit app, particularly integrating additional services and car-free transportation options.
- The leading investor is Alliance Ventures, a joint investment arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. InMotion Ventures, a Jaguar Land Rover investment arm, also is a prime contributor.
It's rather ironic that big-name automakers are the leading investors in this funding round for Transit, considering the app is designed to help people get around urban areas without a personal vehicle and eventually "vaporize personal car ownership." The investments reflect the desire for single-specialty companies to diversify and expand into multi-modal transportation as the mobility industry rapidly transforms. Other such examples include Lyft's acquisition of bike-share company Motivate and Uber's partnership with dockless bike and scooter company Lime.
Another reason for the investments could be that the automakers are preparing for a future with autonomous vehicles (AVs). Those are widely predicted to take hold as future options for ride-sharing services or microtransit as opposed to personal vehicles.
Transit pushes for open application programming interfaces (APIs) to provide developers with easy access to digital infrastructure. Transit says open API policies allow it and similar apps to aggregate information from a variety of sources and provide users with the most comprehensive multi-modal trip options. It says closed-data policies encourage monopolies and high service prices for consumers, while impeding progress toward better digital infrastructure. In addition, open APIs and related digital infrastructure improvements are viewed as integral precursors to the smooth roll-out of AVs and widespread adoption of the vehicles.
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