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BP invests £8.6m in Whim developer MaaS Global

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BP Ventures is investing €10 million (£8.6m) in MaaS Global, a developer of mobility software.

The company’s Whim app, which is being used in the West Midlands, allows customers to access and connect on a single platform all available transport options in a city – from taxis, buses, bikes and rental cars, to ride-hailing services, shared e-scooters and e-bikes.

BP says that the investment in the Finnish-based start-up supports its strategy of developing and providing mobility and transportation options.

Roy Williamson, vice president of advanced mobility at BP, said: “Whim is super convenient. It 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 – from having to own a vehicle to being able to easily connect and use all available forms of transport.

“Our collaboration is a great example of BP’s vision for the future of transportation, mobility and integrated cities.”

The ‘Mobility-as-a-Service’ (MaaS) industry is forecast to grow significantly in revenue by 2030, as the market shifts towards a model of on-demand access to both public and private transport networks.

Sampo Hietanen, CEO and founder of MaaS Global, added: “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.”

With over six million trips made since its launch in Europe in November 2017, MaaS Global’s Whim app encompasses a city’s entire transport system and allows users to search, book and pay for all their transport needs in one place.

Customers can access all modes of transport through either a pay-as-you-go model or a monthly subscription.

After launching Whim in Helsinki, MaaS Global has made the service available in Birmingham, UK, Vienna, Austria, and Antwerp, Belgium. 

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

Daniela Proske, senior principal, BP Ventures said: “This investment further strengthens our activities in the area of advanced mobility and provides potential growth and collaboration opportunities for MaaS Global with our existing portfolio companies such as FreeWire, PowerShare, Zubie and Drover.

“The investment is a first for us in the on-demand mobility space and we look forward to working closely with MaaS Global to help provide future transport options for a low carbon world.”

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

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