Israeli public transport startup Moovit has raised $50 million in a new Series C funding round. That makes the company worth as much as $450 million. Last year we reported how Moovit was trying to reproduce Waze’s success with private car owners, but this time with public transportation users. But that’s only part of the story.
The investment is from Nokia Growth Partners, BMW i Ventures, Keolis, Sequoia Capital, Bernard Arnault Group, Vaizra Investments, BRM Capital and Gemini Partners. Note the heavy presence of transport giants BMW and Keolis, which is the largest French transportation company.
So far Moovit claims to have 15 million public transport users using the app to get around their city. Those include Sao Paulo, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, New York and LA.
One of the closest competitors in this respect is Citymapper, which has raised $10m, but has a tiny team and is concentrating on big cities like London and Paris.
With both apps the scenario is the same. You want to get from A to B and the app comes up with various combinations of public transport to achieve the aim.
Because the app is also tracking the user’s position, it can feed back live data on the journey. This is where Waze’s sweet spot lay, and why Google ultimately lapped up the company for a cool $1.1bn.
Moovit is also integrated with some taxi services, so in Israel it is already combined with GetTaxi and in the US it allows people to book on Lyft.
Nir Erez, CEO of Moovit told me: “We believe that once we get hundreds of millions of users we will be able to monetise in multiple ways, such as adding extra services, like connecting to taxis, or value ad advertisement, or selling bus and train tickets.”
But would they sell to Google as Waze did? “Public transport is different. It’s not our goal to just sell the company.”
Moovit is available for free in the Apple iTunes App Store, Google Play App Store, Windows Phone App Marketplace, or via moovitapp.com.