Dizengoff St. traffic.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israeli carpool app company Via on Thursday said that it raised a $100 million funding round led by VC fund Pitango.
"Via is building the public transport company of the future," the companies founders Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval said in a joint statement.
"The existing public transport infrastructure are struggling to handle high demand around the world, and the traffic in the street. Via's dynamic system offers cities a smart, efficient and comfortable transport solution."
The service, which competes with carpooling services offered by companies such as uber, facilitates inexpensive car-sharing. The customer uses the app to order a professional driver for a flat fee of $7 ($5 for those who prepay; an additional fee applies late night).
The system, which is already up and running in Manhattan and parts of Chicago, directs the driver toward several customers in one area who are all heading in the same direction. The service is not door-to-door; it directs customers to nearby street corners to cut down wait times, and drops them off at points similarly convenient for the overall route.
The company says that pick-up times are less than 10 minutes, on average, and that the travel time is roughly on par than a taxi.
"The company has presented impressive growth figures alongside a loyal customer base that will grow quickly, and is becoming a known brand in the cities where it is operating," said Pitango managing partner Isaac Hillel.
Via plans on using the $100m, its fourth investment round, to further grow the system. The latest round roughly quadruples the amount of capital the company has raised to $137 million.