Israeli-founded transportation system company Via is acquiring Fleetonomy, a fleet management software startup based in Tel Aviv, in a bid to expand into the delivery and logistics solution sphere. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed but Globes reported that a source estimated it at between USD 15 million and USD 25 million.
Fleetonomy, founded in 2017 by CEO Israel Duanis and CTO Lior Gerenstein, developed an AI-optimized fleet management solution for carmakers, vehicle rental companies, and mobility service providers. Its software tools facilitate planning, operating, and optimizing smart mobility services such as car subscription, ride-hailing models, and app-based chauffeur services using the same fleet of vehicles. The startup has worked with a number of notable partners including Audi, Toyota, and Porsche.
Prior to the acquisition, Fleetonomy had raised seed funding from investors such as Vertex Ventures.
Via said the acquisition accelerates its expansion beyond public transit “and strengthens its ability to meet increasing global demand for efficient, flexible solutions for logistics and delivery.” The New York-based company said it plans to “apply Fleetonomy’s technology and expertise in demand prediction and fleet utilization to advance its digitally-powered logistics solutions.”
Via recently raised a Series E funding round that valued the company at over USD 2 billion. The investment came amid the global coronavirus pandemic to which Via had responded by helping cities and municipalities launch effective on-demand transportation for essential staff, emergency services, food deliveries, and medical goods and services.
Via was founded in 2012 by Israeli entrepreneurs Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, and has sought to redefine urban transportation with an advanced digital ride-share platform. Via’s algorithms match—in real-time—multiple passengers traveling in the same direction with a single large SUV or van. The vehicle picks up the passengers at a pre-arranged collection point—a so-called virtual bus stop—set according to traffic conditions and demand.
Ramot and Shoval have indicated that they used their familiarity with Israel’s public rideshare services, sheruts, as the initial inspiration behind Via.
Via’s service, Ride with Via, first launched in New York in 2013, and is now available in some 70 cities in 20 countries worldwide through public and private partnerships. In Europe, Via operates through its joint venture with Mercedes-Benz Vans, ViaVan. The company said it had powered more than 70 million shared rides globally, as of March.
Via also licenses its technology to public transportation agencies, private transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, and universities, to integrate with public transit infrastructure and provide on-demand mobility innovation. The company works with over 150 partners across the globe such as the New York City Department of Education, Transport for London, and the LA Metro.
In Israel, Via is tech provider for on-demand shared rides services Bubble in Tel Aviv and TikTak in Jerusalem. Via is actively supporting municipalities, transit agencies, schools, and non-profit organizations to move beyond a system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, data-driven network.
“As we continue to build the next generation of public transportation and delivery infrastructure, we are proud to partner with Fleetonomy to step into this new phase of growth,” Via co-founders Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval said in a statement. “We have been consistently impressed by Israel, Lior, and the entire Fleetonomy team, and by the beautifully-designed and exceptionally-engineered products they have created. We share a vision for the future of mobility and look forward to realizing this vision together.”
Fleetonomy’s Duanis said that when he and Gerenstein founded the company, they “had a very big mission in mind—to provide a new way of managing fleet-based services.”
“We believe that providing a data-driven, efficient, and reliable suite of solutions will help our customers become leaders of the on-demand economy. By joining Via, we will be able to expand and extend this mission and work together on Via’s great vision of changing the landscape of transportation,” said Duanis.
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.