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BP invests in city mobility start-up MaaS Global

hietanen sampo 400

Global energy giant BP has invested €10 million in digital mobility software provider MaaS Global to support the development of new transport services.

The funding came from its investment arm, BP Ventures, and is intended to support BP’s strategy of developing a broad range of mobility and transportation solutions.

MaaS Global’s Whim smartphone app provides customers with a single platform to book and pay for all available transport options in a city, ranging from taxis, buses, bikes and rental cars, to ride-hailing services, shared e-scooters and e-bikes.

Roy Williamson, vice-president of advanced mobility at BP, said: “Whim offers users a single digital key that unlocks the full spectrum of city transport. It takes the hassle out of planning travel, taking on board users’ preferences and connecting and booking their ideal transport choices.

“The MaaS Global team is at the forefront of a tech-enabled mobility evolution. Our collaboration is a great example of BP’s vision for the future of transportation, mobility and integrated cities.”

MaaS Global takes its name from Mobility-as-a-Service, the concept of providing pay-on-use transport as an alternative to ownership.

Sampo Hietanen, chief executive officer and founder of MaaS Global, said: “The world of transportation is going through disruption that is technology-enabled but, fundamentally, demand-driven. To us, having BP on board as a strategic investor is a real asset. BP’s global reach, its long experience in serving customers and technical expertise will be invaluable as we continue to build the ecosystem required to offer a seamless mobility platform to our users.”

Its app aims to encompasses a city’s entire transport system in one place and its 180,000 customers have used it to book and pay for more than six million trips since its launch in Europe in 2017, either through a pay-as-you-go model or a monthly subscription.

After initially launching Whim in Helsinki, MaaS Global expanded the service to Birmingham, UK, Vienna, Austria, and Antwerp, Belgium.

BP’s investment will support expansion plans to roll out the app in additional cities including Singapore and the US.

BP and Maas Global will also explore opportunities to integrate existing BP offers and technology into the platform.

Its other investors this year include Mitsubishi Corporation and Toyota Financial Services.

Daniela Proske, senior principal, BP Ventures will become a director on the board of MaaS Global.

Other BP Ventures investments include car subscription provider Drover, charging company FreeWire, electric vehicle charging company PowerShare and vehicle tracking specialist Zubie.