Finnish Mobility as a Service pioneer MaaS Global has set its sights on expanding internationally after raising significant capital investment from Toyota Financial Services and its insurance partner Aioi Nissay Dowa.
In total the developer of Whim – a Mobility as a Service app currently operating in the Helsinki region of Finland – raised over €10M (c. £8.8M) in a funding round. Its app allows users to plan and pay for multi-modal journeys through a single smartphone based service.
Thanks to the latest investment in the company MaaS Global is now planning to prepare for international growth by scaling its services into new markets. Mobility as a Service is a sector worth potentially over $1 trillion by 2030.
“Cooperation with one of the best known brands in the world is extremely positive news for us,” commented founder and CEO of MaaS Global Sampo Hietanen. “Toyota’s global network, high quality R&D and genuinely customer oriented culture will give our company a strong lead as it grows towards being the largest player in its sector.”
The investment by Toyota is said to match both companies’ strategic aim of making mobility services a part of their business as interest in car ownership declines in big cities.
“Private car ownership will not be pleasant in cities for much longer: it is slow, expensive and environmentally unfriendly. The technology for seamless consumption of mobility services is already here,” added Mr Hietanen.
Toyota Financial Services CEO Riki Inuzuka said: “We are very pleased to partner with MaaS Global and work together on the development of multi-modal mobility solutions. The vision and business model of MaaS Global marries with Toyota’s strategic objective to serve the mobility needs of our current and future customers.”
President of Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company Yasuzo Kanasugi added: “We are delighted with this joint investment which represents a concrete step in the journey to create sustainable mobility solutions which both meet our customers’ expectations, and enhance their personal safety.”
In 2017 Whim will be going live in in the UK’s West Midlands and in the Amsterdam area of the Netherlands.