Montreal-based Transit has raised $17.5 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by Alliance Ventures, a five-year $1 billion strategic investment fund with Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi. Christian Noske, managing director of the Alliance, will be joining Transit’s board.
Participating investors include Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures; and returning investors Accel and Real Ventures. The company last raised $5 million in September 2017.
“It took decades for carsharing to catch on. Now, ebikes and scooters are being rolled out in weeks.”
– Sam Vermette, CEO of Transit
“We are pleased to make a strategic investment in Transit, the leading urban mobility navigation startup in North America,” said François Dossa, Alliance global vice president of ventures and open innovation. “Our partnership, which will advance Transit’s efforts to make mobility in cities seamless and accessible in cities, fits with the Alliance 2022 strategy to become a leader in robovehicle ridehailing mobility services and a provider of vehicles for public transit use and carsharing.”
Operating in 175 cities, Transit allows users to navigate public transit with accurate real-time predictions, trip planning, and step-by-step navigation. The app also integrates other transport modes like bikesharing, scooters, carsharing, and ridehailing. Transit users can request and pay for an Uber trip directly in the app, book carsharing vehicles from multiple providers, and purchase bikeshare passes and unlock bikes with 10 North American bikeshare systems. To date, Transit users have unlocked more than than 2.5 million bikeshare rides.
“New modes of mobility are entering the market at record speeds,” said Sam Vermette, CEO of Transit. “It took decades for carsharing to catch on. Now, ebikes and scooters are being rolled out in weeks. This is an exciting time, as Transit helps people navigate their new mobility options.”
Transit is open about its mission to kill car ownership, believing that car-free transportation is at the point that it can compete if cities, operators, and mobility platforms are working together. There have already been signs of this in the Ontario market, as Toronto recently launched its first floating car-share pilot project with Communauto in October, and Waterloo is watching the effect of a pilot project with Lime scooters in the city.
For its part, Transit has partnered with transit agencies to become their official or endorsed multimodal app. By working closely with public transportation operators, Transit said it can save agencies money and staff time required to develop and maintain their own app Agency partners include Boston’s MBTA, Baltimore’s MDOT MTA, Silicon Valley’s VTA, Tampa Bay’s PSTA, and Montreal’s STM.
Part of enabling this, Transit said in a recent blog post, is to ensure open APIs for mobility services. “Bad digital infrastructure will make it harder for riders to make car-free trips. It will encourage monopolies, higher prices, and introduce needless friction. It’s the Comcast future of mobility,” the blog post reads. “However, with open digital infrastructure, we would get a competitive, vibrant mobility market.”