Moovit, the Waze for public transportation, bags $28M

Sequoia gets behind Moovit, which uses crowdsourced data to give travelers real-time info

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
December 18, 2013
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More and more people are ditching the ‘burbs and settling down in the city. There are currently seven billion people on the planet, but by 2050, some six billion will be living in cities, according to the United Nations. That is…horrifying. But what that really means is, transportation is going to be a bitch. Enter Moovit, the Waze for public transportation. The Israeli startup announced Wednesday that it has raised a whopping $28 million led by Sequoia Capital, with help from existing investors BRM Group and Gemini Israel Ventures. The company previously raised $3.5 million.

And it’s brilliant. Anyone who has lived in a major metropolis and has had to rely on public transportation knows how unpredictable it can be. Oh, you live three miles away from work and you need to be there in half an hour? Guess what: your subway station is down for the day due to track maintenance, so now you’re going to have to take a shuttle to the next station, which is actually three stations away because the next station is also down, and now you’re late for work. You probably could’ve gotten there on time if you’d just jogged there.

Like Waze, Moovit uses crowdsourced data to give you accurate public transit information. Here’s how it works: you open the app and enter your destination to get the quickest route and an estimated time of arrival. You can also find out when your bus or train is scheduled to arrive at your stop. Next, you hop on the bus or subway or BART and leave the app open, allowing Moovit to gather data for other travelers.

If you’re feeling proactive, you can voluntarily enter information, like whether the bus is particularly crowded or if an accident is holding up traffic.

The app is currently active in over 100 cities across some 21 countries. In the U.S., it’s currently active in 18 cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Boston, and more.

Since the company’s global launch this time last year, the app has drawn more than three million users to date who generate more than 10 million reports each day. The app has received more than one billion requests for real-time information to date.

"Moovit has built an incredibly useful product for the huge, fragmented and underserved market of public transit riders," said Sequoia Capital partner Gili Raanan, in a statement. "Rapid urbanization will lead to more than 6 billion people living in cities by 2050, and Moovit is working with transit authorities to make daily travel more enjoyable around the world."

Uri Levine, founder of Waze—the crowdsourced traffic information app that was acquired by Google for $1.1 billion—is on Moovit’s board of directors. 


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