Via raises $130 million to grow its on-demand shuttle software business – TechCrunch
Shuttle and on-demand software company Via has raised a further $130 million, capital that has pushed its valuation to around $3.3 billion as demand from cities to update its existing transportation systems increases .
The round was led by Janus Henderson with participation from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, ION Crossover Partners, Koch Disruptive Technologies and existing investor Exor. To date, the company has raised $800 million.
Via, which today employs around 950 people, has two faces in its business. The company operates consumer-facing shuttles in Washington, DC and New York. Its underlying software platform, which it sells to cities, transit authorities, school districts and universities to deploy their own shuttles, is not just the core of its business; it has become the main driver of growth.
Co-founder and CEO Daniel Ramot previously told TechCrunch that cities had little interest in the software-as-a-service platform when the company launched in 2012. Via landed its first urban partnership with Austin end of 2017, after providing the platform to the transport authority for free. This was enough to allow Via to develop case studies and convince other cities to join the service. In 2019, the partnerships side of the business “took off,” Ramot said in an interview last year.
Today, the software side – branded internally as TransitTech – has eclipsed its consumer-facing operations. Via said TransitTech’s revenue more than doubled year-over-year to top an annual rate of $100 million. The software platform is used by more than 500 partners, including Los Angeles Metro. Jersey City and Miami in the US as well as Arriva Bus UK, a Deutsche Bahn company which uses it for a first and last mile service connecting commuters to a high-speed train station in Kent, UK
Via does not provide details on the intended use of the funds. The company has completed two acquisitions in the past 18 months, including Fleetonomy in 2020.
Earlier this year, Via used $100 million in cash and equity to acquire Remix, a startup that developed mapping software used by cities for transportation planning and street design. Remix has become a subsidiary of Via, an arrangement that will allow the startup to retain its independent brand.
The acquisition has already produced a product that combines Remix’s collaborative transit planning and mapping tools with Via’s on-demand transit data. Earlier this month, Via launched a software tool to help cities understand and plan how on-demand rides and fixed-route transit like buses can work in tangent.