The future of smart cities begins with smarter transportation

Bessemer Venture Partners leads Optibus’ $107 million Series C financing to expand its global presence and enhance product capabilities that improve mass transit for passengers while increasing operational efficiency.

Even before the onset of the pandemic, managing mass transport has been a challenge for nearly every major city around the globe. With the introduction of new modes of transportation such as on-demand bike-shares and scooters it has never been easier and more cost effective to get around, but it has also become more complicated for passengers to plan longer trips when faced with so many transportation alternatives. This complexity will only increase with the rise of driverless cars and 5G roll out to accurately track vehicle location and connected infrastructure such as stoplights and rail signaling. Each of these innovations in transportation are individually impactful but the real benefits for passengers and cities will come when all these factors are orchestrated into a transportation system that reduces cost, congestion, and commute times.

There has never been a greater need for a software platform to enable this level of orchestration, which is why we’re excited to announce our Series C investment in Optibus.

Optibus is a modern cloud-based mobility operating system that allows transit operators to design routes, overlay demographic data, measure performance, and optimize resource allocation, budget, and service time. Optibus makes transportation more efficient for everyone. For cities and operators, it cuts down the time to schedule routes from days to minutes while simultaneously improving the accessibility, reliability and performance of networks that affect millions of passengers. At a time when cities are looking to rebuild in the aftermath of the pandemic, Optibus provides the key to lowering costs while simultaneously increasing efficiencies.

Optibus makes transportation more efficient for everyone.

When we first met Amos Haggiag and the team at Optibus three years ago, we were impressed by their vision of delivering a cloud-based mobility operating system. And, in light of COVID-19, the pandemic has revealed just how critical smart public transport is for frontline workers. We’ve seen this in transportation data: commuter rail utilization dropped by 90% in some regions as knowledge workers shifted to telecommuting. However, as many frontline workers often don’t telecommute, they have to rely on buses which are running at 65%+ utilization in many cities. Cities have also had to scramble to make changes to bus scheduling and route planning in response to the shock brought on by the pandemic.

As many urban areas transition over to new technologies to serve their populations, cloud solutions can help make public infrastructure, like public transportation, far more nimble to match the flow of commuting patterns. Since the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, more cities are leveraging advanced optimization algorithms and machine learning to better run mass-transportation.

Today over 450 cities across 20 countries have adopted Optibus and we believe they’re on track to becoming the leading mobility operating system for multi-mode and low-cost public transportation. We are privileged to partner with Amos and the entire Optibus team on the road to more sustainable smart public transportation.