Israeli transportation app receives attention from star-studded investment group
In a surprise announcement today, the venture capital fund Sound Ventures released that they were investing in the popular public transportation app’s Series D round. While Moovit has not yet specified the size of the investment, unnamed sources have placed it in the millions.
Based in Los Angeles, Sound Ventures was launched at the beginning of the year by actor Ashton Kutcher and his partner F. This marks the VC’s 15th investment this year, joining other successful startups like Fundbox, Zenefits, and OpenGov.
Having made his name coming from the entertainment industry, Kutcher has become a growing influencer in the investment community. For his part, the Israeli-born Oseary rose up as a talent manager for big acts like Madonna and U2.
With their founding of Sound Ventures, it is Kutcher and Oseary’s first time at the dance. Their last VC was A-Grade Investments, which had a listed portfolio of 27 companies. Kutcher is also known to have put money into startup giants like Uber and Airbnb.
Mooving it forward
In a statement from Moovit to the press, this investment will help the company to expand their operations throughout Asia. Claiming to have over 30 million users, the social app harnesses their crowd to help find the best public transportation routes.
The company has pointed to the large populations of potential users in the Asian market as a sign that they expect to see exponential growth. They stated that they had recently opened their app for use in Bangalore, and intend to dive into China soon with launches in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
While the amount of this current round of funding is yet to be announced, it is worth noting that their Series C that was raised in January came in at a whopping $50 million.
Perhaps their most notable competitor is Google Maps, which integrated with the social traffic ninja app Waze. Smaller apps like RideScout are also moving into the public transportation navigation sphere to help people make it home, even if they forget where they parked.
For those watching for Kutcher’s next investment move, it is fair to say that he will keep going after technologies that he sees as game changers. This can be especially true in companies that strive to change the way that people see their interactions with institutions like the government, transportation, and other established industries like was seen with Uber and Airbnb, so keep an eye out for more surprises ahead as we roll into 2016.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube