- Transit app Moovit announced it has raised $50 million in Series D funding, which will go toward expanding its global sales team and enhancing its product. The new funding by around a dozen investors also ushers in a new collaboration with Israeli-based tech company Mobileye, which provides drivers with warnings for collision prevention.
- More improvements could also be in store for Moovit’s Smart Transit Suite, a data and analytics tool marketed to jurisdictions and transit operators. The tool helps localities better manage their transportation networks by providing insights on when, where and how people move around a city.
- In a statement, CEO Nir Erez said the company expects to have more than 1 billion users by 2021 and be in more cities, all with a view to using the analytics software to “improve urban mobility." TechCrunch reported it plans to integrate its technology into Mobileye’s systems to enhance the safety of autonomous vehicles.
This latest investment will help to push the app toward becoming "a comprehensive, one-stop resource for urban trip planning," according to Forbes. It has now raised $133 million in capital through several funding rounds since its founding in 2012.
But more important than the money is its collaboration with Mobileye, which will help Moovit to focus on the growth of autonomous vehicles and the need to ensure they are as safe as possible in urban areas. Already, Mobileye offers an "advanced drive assistance solution" to help trucks, buses and other large vehicles avoid collisions, and it also can identify the likes of bicyclists, pedestrians, lane markings and speed limit signs. Localities are already wrestling with how to make sure autonomous vehicles are safe in urban areas, and this partnership could help ease that process.
Moovit is clearly confident about its continued growth internationally, even as other apps try to get into the same space and improve the efficiency of personal transportation. Transit, for example, as it has partnered with more than 125 cities across the world and transit agencies to make commutes more efficient. Alternatively, Sidewalk Labs' new platform Coord acts as an "operating system" for others, so a ride-sharing service could plug into Coord's data stream and project to its users information on tolls or traffic, allowing users to see a transparent time and cost estimate for their trip.
The partnership with Mobileye makes Moovit different, as it is looking ahead to an influx of autonomous vehicles. And the Smart Transit Suite, with its large amount of GPS and trip data — Erez estimates it uses more than a billion data points each day — could be attractive for cities to buy into as they look to make transportation more efficient as choices expand.