Daimler makes strategic investment in Via
Via, the world’s leading on-demand shared rides technology developer and provider, announced today that industry-leading automotive company Daimler AG will make a strategic investment to support Via’s continued rapid growth.
Via and Daimler set up joint venture to bring on-demand shared rides to Europe
Building on a partnership that began in 2015, Via and Daimler will significantly intensify their cooperation, establishing a joint venture to launch on-demand shuttle services powered by Via’s revolutionary technology across Europe, and to license Via’s on-demand shuttle operating system to European transit authorities and municipalities. Adding to the strategic investment of Daimler Mobility Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans will invest $50 million in the new joint venture with Via.
“We are delighted to have the Daimler Group on board as an investor and strategic partner. Combining Via’s technology with the exceptional design and engineering of Mercedes-Benz Vans is ideal for our vision of offering efficient, affordable, sustainable, and convenient shared rides everywhere,” says Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.
“Via’s world-class engineering team is perfecting the operating system that will power the future of mobility. We are excited to bring our proprietary technology and operational excellence to Europe through the new joint venture with Mercedes-Benz Vans,” says Oren Shoval, co-founder and CTO of Via.
Via and Daimler to launch on-demand shared rides in London
London will be the first city to launch the new Via-Daimler on-demand shuttle service by the end of 2017, with expansion to additional European cities to follow soon after. Via’s shared ride platform is currently available in New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC, providing over 1 million rides per month. The company’s smart routing algorithms allow passengers to be picked up and dropped off in an endless stream without taking riders out of their way.
Via and Daimler to design optimized shared ride vehicle
As part of their strategic partnership, Daimler and Via will also collaborate on the design of an optimized Mercedes-Benz Vans shuttle for on-demand shared ride use, and will develop systems for efficiently managing and optimizing fleets of electric and autonomous shuttles.
“On-demand ride-sharing offers many new ways of making city traffic efficient, needs-based and sustainable – especially when it involves the use of spacious, safe and comfortable vans,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the perfect vehicles that are being continuously optimized for this job. By deepening our cooperation with Via, we are thus taking the next logical step in the context of our strategy for the future and are expanding our range of new mobility services.” The cooperation is another milestone of the adVANce strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans focusing on the transformation from a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of holistic van system solutions.
Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance, financial investments, credit cards, and innovative mobility services.
Via is re-engineering public transit, from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle. First launched in New York City in September 2013, the Via platform currently operates in New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC, providing over a million rides per month, and is growing rapidly. Via also licenses its revolutionary on-demand transit technology to transportation operators globally.