Mobility Startup Optibus Raises $107M For Public Transport Platform

Israeli public transportation optimization company Optibus announced a Series C $107 million funding round co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Insight Partners on Wednesday.

The funding brings Optibus’ total capital raised to $160 million since its founding in 2014. Existing investors include Verizon Ventures, Pitango, New Era Capital Partners, Dynamic Loop and Blue Red Partners.

The company developed a SaaS platform that plans and schedules the movements of vehicles and drivers alike, with detailed insight into how these affect operations, on-time performance and costs. Using advanced optimization algorithms and machine learning, Optibus says it helps leading transit providers better run mass transportation systems.

Founded by CEO Amos Haggiag and CTO Eitan Yanovsky, Optibus provides services to more than 450 cities (including NY, LA, Melbourne, and Singapore) and currently has offices in San Francisco, London, Chicago, Tel Aviv, and São Paulo.

The investment comes as Optibus is launching a new offering – the Geospatial Suite – which it says significantly improves transportation networks and transit equity through the use of data-driven planning. The company said the suite 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 – and helps promote transit equity by making it easy to view demographic data showing how route changes could affect residents’ access to public transit.

Optibus said in a statement that it will use the funding to continue expanding its global presence and enhance product capabilities. 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.

“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.”

Alex Ferrara, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, said: “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.”

“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,” he added.

“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.”