Via (company)

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Via Transportation, Inc.
Privately held company
Industry Transportation network company
Real-time ridesharing
Founded 2012; 6 years ago (2012)
Founders Daniel Ramot
Oren Shoval
Headquarters New York City, New York
Area served
New York City
Chicago, Illinois
Washington, D.C.
Arlington, TX
West Sacramento, CA
Key people
Daniel Ramot, CEO
Number of employees
170
Website ridewithvia.com

Via Transportation, Inc. is a transportation network company and real-time ridesharing company based in New York City, with offices in Tel Aviv, Chicago, Washington D.C., Arlington, Texas, and West Sacramento.[1] The company's technology is used in projects in Paris, the United Kingdom, and Austin, Texas.[2]

As of 2017, it was reported that Via had raised $387 million in financing.[3]

History[edit]

Via was founded in 2012 by Israeli entrepreneurs Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval.[4] The service is based on the founders' experience with Sherut shared taxis in Israel.[5][6] The service was launched exclusively in Manhattan in 2014, before expanding to Chicago in November 2015.[6]

In August 2016, Via launched its service in Washington D.C.[7]

Via launched a partnership with the French transportation company, Keolis in January 2017. The partnership uses Via's technology to a shared ride service operated by Keolis subsidiary LeCab.[8] In June 2017, Via partnered with Curb to allow users to hail a yellow taxi for a shared ride in certain areas of Manhattan.[9]

Arriva UK Bus launched ArrivaClick, an on-demand app developed through a partnership with Via, in Kent in March 2017. Via launched Savy, an app using Via's on-demand ride-sharing technology and a fleet of vehicles owned by the company, in Queenstown, New Zealand in November 2017.[10]

Via partnered with Capital Metro in Austin, Texas to launch Pickup, an on-demand transit option, in June 2017. Pickup initially ran three days a week in Northeast Austin during its pilot phase.[11]

In June 2017, Via partnered with Curb to allow users to hail a yellow taxi for a shared ride in certain areas of Manhattan.[12][13]

In September 2017, Via raised $250 million from German automaker Daimler. The investment included $50 million toward a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Via to establish ViaVan, designed to spread on-demand shuttle services in Europe and expand Via's system to European transit authorities and municipalities. ViaVan was first launched in March 2018 in Amsterdam. In April 2018, ViaVan launched in London and operated initially in central London Zones 1 and 2. ViaVan announced its expansion to Berlin in December 2017. The Berlin fleet would contain 300 vehicles and would be launched in spring 2018, pending regulatory approval.[14]

In November 2017, Via partnered with the city of West Sacramento to deploy a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vans to function as a hybrid of ride share and buses.[15]

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority partnered with Via in November 2017 to add Via's services to the Metro system the following summer. The partnership will include three major stations offering Via shuttles with subsidized fares that can be paid through the public transportation fare card TAP accounts and has been funded through a $1.35 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.[16]

In 2018, Via partnered with the city of Arlington, Texas to operate 10 vans as shuttles for Arlington residents, with a possibility to expand the trial citywide. In its first month, the program provided over 5,000 rides with a 97 percent customer approval rating.[17] In Spring 2018, Via launched on-demand shared rides in West Sacramento using Mercedes-Benz vans as part of the city's public transit.[18] Via's presence in West Sacramento was part of a one-year trial using a $400,000 grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.[19]

In January 2018, Via partnered with Keolis Downer to launch The Newcastle Transport On Demand App in Australia using Via's on-demand shared rides as part of Newcastle Transport's bus and ferry network.[20] In March 2018, the partnership, called Keoride, expanded to include Macquarie Park, a suburb of Sydney.[21]

The Land Transport Authority in Singapore awarded almost a half a million dollars worth of contracts to Via Transportation in collaboration with the Ministry of Movement to run a trial of on-demand busses in February 2018.[22]

Financing[edit]

On March 26, 2014, the company raised $10 million in Series A round financing.[23]

In April 2015, Via raised $27 million in Series B financing.[24][25]

In May 2016, Via raised $70 million in a Series C financing round led by Israeli investment firm Pitango, C4 Ventures, Hearst Ventures and Roman Abramovich and announced that it expected to raise another $30 million in the coming weeks.[26][27][28]

In September 2017, Daimler invested $50 million into a joint venture with the company, with sources saying the total value of the investment could be $250 million.[29][30]

Service[edit]

The company's mobile app facilitates shared travel for a flat rate. In order to expedite service, passengers are picked up and dropped off on the corner of a block nearest to their pickup and drop-off locations, and not the exact addresses.[5] The service works more like a dynamic bus line rather than a ridesharing service, and charges users a flat rate for a ride.[31] The VIA service is approved for use with commuter benefit cards.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Via: Cities". Via.
  2. ^ Geron, Tomio (June 20, 2017). "Public Transit Agencies Take a Lesson From Uber". The Wall Street Journal.(subscription required)
  3. ^ "Twenty-four Israeli tech firms ripe for IPO, report says". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. ^ Noto, Anthony (July 12, 2016). "From aviation, to biotech, to taxi dispatcher? The road to founding Via". American City Business Journals.
  5. ^ a b Bromwich, Jonah (March 13, 2015). "Like Taking a Luxury Bus: Via, a Ride-Share App, Offers Manhattan Trips". The New York Times.
  6. ^ a b Graham, Meg (November 17, 2015). "Via, UberPool Launch Competing Rideshare Services in Chicago". Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ Siddiqui, Faiz (August 1, 2016). "New to D.C., Ridesharing Service Via Wants to Replace the Red Line During SafeTrack". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ Tali Tsipori (January 31, 2017). "Transport-On-Demand Co Via Launches in Paris". Globes. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  9. ^ Jordan Crook. "Curb and Via Bring Ride-Sharing to NYC's Yellow Taxis". TechCrunch. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Ride-share service Savy launched with $5 flat fare". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Capital Metro to Launch Free On-Demand Service Called Pickup". CapMetro. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  12. ^ Crook, Jordan (June 6, 2017). "Curb and Via Bring Ride-Sharing to NYC's Yellow Taxis". TechCrunch.
  13. ^ Morgan, Richard (June 6, 2017). "NYC's Yello Cabs are Adding a Carpooling Option". New York Post.
  14. ^ "Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and ViaVan, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  15. ^ Ellen Garrison. "It's billed as a mix between a bus and Uber, all for a few bucks or less". SacBee. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  16. ^ Mallory Locklear. "Los Angeles taps a shuttle service to get riders to Metro stops". Engadget. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Texas city ditches buses for Via ride-hailing service". CBS News. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Via launches on-demand service in West Sacramento, California". Metro Magazine. May 18, 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  19. ^ Eric Rucker. "West Sacramento Partnering with Rideshare Company to Test New Transportation Program". Fox 40. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Via, Keolis Downer launch Aus. On-demand service". Metro Magazine. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Keolis Starts New On-Demand Mobility Service in Macquarie Park". Mass Transit. March 29, 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Two firms land deal to conduct on-demand bus trials". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Crunchbase: Via". TechCrunch.
  24. ^ Isaac, Mike (April 2, 2015). "Via, a Ride-Sharing App, Raises $27 Million for Car-Pooling". The New York Times.(subscription required)
  25. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (April 2, 2015). "Via Raises $27M For Its Flat-Rate $5 Urban Carpool-Style Ride Sharing Service". TechCrunch.
  26. ^ "Via Raises $100 Million to Support Rapid Growth" (Press release). Business Wire. May 5, 2016.
  27. ^ De La Merced, Michael J. (May 5, 2016). "Via Attracts Financing, Despite Silicon Valley's Nervousness About Ride Sharing". The New York Times.(subscription required)
  28. ^ Korosec, Kristen (May 5, 2016). "Carpooling Startup Via Raises Big Money to Take on Uber, Lyft". Fortune.
  29. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (September 4, 2017). "Via Raises $250 Million Led by Damiler to Bring its Carpooling Technology to Europe". TechCrunch.
  30. ^ Ben-Gedalyahu, Dubi (September 4, 2017). "Ridesharing co Via raises $250m led by Daimler". Globes.
  31. ^ Eric Jaffe. [The New York Car Service That Charges (Almost) Transit Prices "The New York Car Service That Charges (Almost) Transit Prices"] Check |url= value (help). City Lab. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  32. ^ "Commuter Benefits Law FAQs". New York City.

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