Optibus raises $40m to help fix the logistical dumpster fire of bus routes

Optibus, a software provider for public transit operations, raised $40m from the likes of Insight Venture Partners and Alibaba.

Doesn’t matter whether you’re in Beijing or Boise, municipal transit is a friggin’ nightmare. Yesterday, Optibus raised a $40m Series B to help change all that.

The Tel Aviv-based logistical startup provides software enabling cities to have a detailed overhead view of scheduling and routing for their particular transport network.

Nice route, Magellan

The public transport sector is a $1.5T industry, yet somehow still massively behind the curve when it comes to digital infrastructure — making things like routes, timing, and asset management an absolute cluster f*ck for everyone involved.

And, with the number of heavy-duty transit buses expected to grow rapidly — to 57.7k in China by 2022, for example — it’s only gonna get worse.

With Optibus’ software, officials can improve service quality, generate timetables, reduce fuel costs, as well as “optimise” overall efficiency within each transit network in real time and, according to Optibus, cut overall costs by up to 15%.

What took them so long?

AI wasn’t built in a day. It took the 4-year-old Optibus 3 years to develop the AI that underlies its web-based transit operations solution — now cities have to buy in.

After Optibus’ $12m Series A in 2017, it opened offices in San Francisco, London, and Dusseldorf, and expanded its presence in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Austin, and more than 300 cities worldwide.

According to Optibus founder and CEO Amos Haggiag, the latest round will drive “future product innovation” and help the company expand into other existing markets. 

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