Finnish mobility service developer secures €14m in funding from likes of Denso, Toyota

MaaS Global, a Helsinki-based developer of what has been described as the world’s first all-inclusive mobility app, reveals that it has completed its latest international funding round, raising a total of 14.2 million euros.

The new investors include prominent automotive industry leaders, such as Denso and Toyota Financial Services - reports helsinkitimes.

The company says its objective is to “revolutionise the way people move” by allowing them to both book and pay for a variety of mobility services – ranging from taxis, rental cars and public transport to bicycle sharing – with a single mobile application called Whim.

The app is already available in Helsinki, Finland. It is to be launched in the West Midlands, the United Kingdom, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by the end of 2017.

“In the future, you will be able to move anywhere, at any time and by any mode of transport without needing to own a vehicle. Our goal is to build a global roaming system for transport which people can use to travel from, say, Helsinki to Brussels using one app,” Sampo Hietanen, the founder and chief executive of MaaS Global, says in a press release .

Hietanen is confident that the next-generation mobility service will become a credible challenger to traditional car ownership.

“Toyota’s involvement speaks volumes,” he estimated in an interview with YLE on Wednesday .

Sadahiro Usui, the chief executive of Denso, a Japanese supplier of automotive technology, is similarly excited about the possibilities presented by the partnership.

“We are pleased to partner with MaaS Global to jointly develop the emerging mobility service market and ecosystem that revolutionise the way people access all modes of transportation,” he says in the press release.

MaaS Global also highlights that a number of investors opted to increase their stake in it during the latest funding round.

Hietanen has also admitted that the development project has moved forward faster than the company dared to dream. “The world is changing. I predicted four years ago that we wouldn’t be able to start our first pilots until the 2020s, but here we are,” he commented to Talouselämä on Wednesday.

Read more news on the city site of Helsinki.

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