TEL AVIV, Israel, March 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Optibus, the cloud-native AI platform for planning and operating mass transportation, announced today that it has raised $107 million in a Series C round, co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Insight Partners. The funding comes as Optibus is launching one of its most significant updates: the Geospatial Suite, which significantly improves transportation networks and transit equity through the use of data-driven planning.
Optibus will use the funding to continue expanding its global presence and enhance product capabilities such as optimization and artificial intelligence algorithms that improve mass transit for passengers while also increasing operational efficiency. The funding will also go toward accelerating the deployment of zero-emission vehicles – replacing mass transit fleets based on fossil fuels and lowering emissions worldwide, just as the U.S. rejoins the Paris Agreement and the mitigation of climate change once again becomes a global effort.
Optibus also received funding from existing investors including Verizon Ventures, Pitango, New Era Capital Partners, Dynamic Loop and Blue Red Partners. With this latest round, Optibus has raised a total of $160 million since its founding in 2014.
"Effective public transportation is a critical part of a well-functioning society, and with the rise of new mobility options and electric vehicles, paired with the added challenge of the pandemic, city operators face more complexity than ever," said Alex Ferrara, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. "Optibus stands out as a modern cloud-based solution that cuts through this complexity, allowing transit operators to plan routes and optimize schedules in minutes rather than days, promoting a more affordable and passenger-friendly experience. We are excited to partner with them as they build a global, world-class operating system for public transportation."
With the new Geospatial Suite, cities can make transportation networks more passenger-friendly by visualizing crucial geographic information while planning routes – such as the bike paths that riders may use on the way to or from public transit, or the shopping districts, schools, health clinics or job centers where passengers may want to go. The suite also helps promote transit equity by making it easy to view demographic data showing how route changes could affect residents' access to public transit. These capabilities facilitate data-driven decisions that significantly improve the accessibility, reliability and performance of networks that affect the lives of millions of passengers.
"The pandemic has made it more challenging for cities and transportation operators to provide safe and efficient public transportation, while also highlighting just how essential these services are," said Optibus CEO and co-founder Amos Haggiag. "It's now of critical importance that we modernize the public transit industry not only for the industry's sake, but for the communities around the world that seek transit equity, freedom of movement for all residents, and environmentally sustainable cities. This funding will help us do just that."
"The product strength and expansion of Optibus comes at a time when cities and transit operators need all the tools they can get to build back better in the aftermath of COVID-19, improving the quality of their public transportation networks while reducing operational costs," said Teddie Wardi, Managing Director at Insight Partners. "We believe that the Optibus platform will become the gold standard for mass transportation planning and delivery globally, and we are thrilled to partner with them as they continue their ScaleUp journey."
Optibus powers complex transit operations in over 450 cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Brasilia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Customers include U.S. agencies LADOT (Los Angeles), NICE (Nassau County, New York) and AVTA (Antelope Valley, California), and two of the largest bus operators in the UK, First Group and Stagecoach.
Optibus is an AI platform that brings much-needed innovation to the essential mobility mode at the heart of our cities: public transportation. Optibus leverages a robust combination of artificial intelligence, advanced optimization algorithms and distributed cloud computing to make public transportation smarter, better and more efficient – and ultimately nourish freedom of movement and sustainable cities. A cloud-native SaaS company founded in 2014, Optibus powers complex transit operations in over 450 cities around the world, planning and scheduling the movement of vehicles and drivers to improve the quality and reliability of transit service and make operations more efficient. Optibus has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer (2020) and by Gartner as a Cool Vendor (2018). It has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, London and São Paulo.
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ABOUT BESSEMER VENTURE PARTNERS
Bessemer Venture Partners is the world's most experienced early-stage venture capital firm. With a portfolio of more than 200 companies, Bessemer helps visionary entrepreneurs lay strong foundations to create companies that matter, and supports them through every stage of their growth. The firm has backed more than 130 IPOs, including Shopify, Yelp, LinkedIn, Skype, LifeLock, Twilio, SendGrid, DocuSign, Wix, and MindBody. Bessemer's 15 investing partners operate from offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Israel, and India. Follow @BessemerVP and learn more at bvp.com.
ABOUT INSIGHT PARTNERS
Insight Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight Partners has invested in more than 400 companies worldwide and has raised through a series of funds more than $30 billion in capital commitments. Insight's mission is to find, fund, and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on software expertise to foster long-term success. Across its people and its portfolio, Insight encourages a culture around a belief that ScaleUp companies and growth create opportunity for all. For more information on Insight and all its investments, visit insightpartners.com or follow us on Twitter @insightpartners.