2018 has witnessed a huge set of leaps and developments within the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) industry, including the release of certain platforms and apps that allow users of all backgrounds to travel significantly easier within populated cities using more unorthodox and eco-friendly methods of travel. Yet, without a large amount of investments made into this sector through 2018, there wouldn’t be the promising future for MaaS that we have predicted. Within this article, we mark some of the most significant investments made during 2018.
During September we saw the Scottish Government invest £2 million into the development of Mobility as a Service. Recognising the potential for travel to be revolutionised in Scotland, these funds were set aside for assisting the optimisation of MaaS platforms and software for use in the near future. The main company receiving these funds will be MaaS Scotland who hope to drive forward the implementation of Mobility as a Service and make travel a smoother system for all to experience.
Mobilleo by Fleetondemand
Again in the United Kingdom, BGF investments funded the production of a MaaS platform designed specifically for business travellers. Fleetondemand received a £5 million investment to develop their product Mobilleo which provides Mobility as a Service solutions for both individual business travellers to larger-scale enterprises organising travel for a number of employees. Having already been involved within the fleet industry, the company already possess a vast amount of knowledge on what MaaS needs to adapt when attempting to appeal to a more business-focused area of travel.
Whim by MaaS Global
MaaS Global, the company behind the platform Whim, recently received a €9 million investment through a funding round. Beginning in Helsinki, Whim hopes to use this investment money to expand over the globe and deliver MaaS solutions to the everyday traveller. Considering it is the first MaaS operator, Whim is set to be a main contender in the battle for MaaS platform market dominance.
Other MaaS Influences
It is not simply Mobility as a Service platforms that are being funded in 2018, there is also lots of time and money being put into MaaS initiatives such as autonomous vehicles and the development of Smart Cities. MaaS plays a major role in these concepts as they will rely on each other and their respective data to be successful in the future. Some examples of major investments into these sectors are Toyota planning to invest $1 billion into ride-hailing company Grab operating in Southeast Asia.
Perhaps the most prominent player in the self-driving vehicle industry is WAYMO, originally being a subsidiary of Google but now it’s stand-alone company under the name Alphabet. It is estimated that Google invested $1.1 billion into the company before it became independent. WAYMO are already within the testing stage of their autonomous vehicle production and are expected to be fully ready for the roads by 2022. It would be safe to assume that WAYMO should play a key role in the integration and use of self-driving vehicles into MaaS platforms.
It is very clear to anybody with knowledge of the travel industry that a revolution is on its way. With the possibility of a brand-new system of travel and booking being ushered in within the coming years, it should come as no surprise that many companies are investing in the future of travel. Mobility as a Service will be one of the key industries behind the future of travel, for individuals and for businesses.