Via, the on-demand transit company, has announced $100 million in Series C funding to support its rapid growth. The funding was led by Pitango Growth and includes strategic investors from North America, Europe, and Asia such as Poalim Capital Markets and C4 Ventures.
“Via is creating the public transit system of the future,” said Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, co-founders of Via. “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.”
The Tel Aviv founders launched their ride-sharing app in 2012. Ramot and Shoval, who previously led engineering projects for the Israeli Air Force and have PhDs in neuroscience and systems biology from Stanford University and the Weizmann Institute of Science, respectively, say the idea for Via came from Israel, where many people rely on shared vehicles called sheruts to travel quickly, cheaply and easily along major streets.
Via’s service is currently available in parts of Chicago and New York City and enables tens of thousands of passengers each day to share their ride with others headed the same way.
Via’s algorithms match passengers with available seats. 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.
“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. We’re thrilled to support the company’s exceptional growth trajectory.”
Via says the new financing will be used to drive growth in NYC and Chicago, to expand into new cities, and to help municipalities and transit authorities seeking to improve their public transit services by using Via’s technology.
The funds will also support strategic partnerships to operate Via’s platform in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America currently underway in suburban South Orange County, California.
Via is headquartered in New York, with offices in Tel Aviv and Chicago.