Major automakers are teaming up with some of the world’s most important ride-sharing services, signaling possible upcoming changes to the way such apps are used. The Wall Street Journal reports that Volkswagen has invested $300 million in car-hailing startup Gett. The Tel Aviv-based ride-hailing startup has been gaining significant steam in Europe and Asia. Volkswagen is betting big on the company, hoping to incorporate some of Gett’s AI technologies into their own business platforms. The move would almost certainly be mutually beneficial.
However, Volkswagen is not the only automaker making these major power plays. In fact, the Volkswagen’s deal just follows General Motors $500 million investment in Lyft Inc. Their deal came shortly after Lyft announced global partnerships with companies Didi Chuxing (China), GrabTaxi (Southeast Asia), and Ola Cabs (India) according to CNN. General Motors and Lyft plan to begin testing on the self-driving electric taxicab within a year’s time.
Toyota has also struck its own partnership with ride-sharing powerhouse Uber, in attempts to get more drivers on the ride-hailing service. The partnership offers Toyota vehicles to potential Uber drivers through the company’s special leasing program. Toyota’s total investment in Uber is just under $100 million reports the Wall Street Journal, lower than Volkswagen or GM’s deals, but still highly significant. Both Uber and Toyota will increase its efforts on realizing autonomous driving.
Gett services 60 cities across the globe, holding partnerships with 4000 companies. The $300 million investment should allow Gett to expand further into Europe, and possibly encroach on Uber and Lyft’s hold in the United States. Volkswagen on the other hand hopes to tap into Gett’s 4000 partnerships, as well as the company’s software, data, and artificial intelligence technology. “All of that represents a foundation to operate fleets of autonomous cars,” said Shahar Waiser, CEO of Gett.
Gett which is headquartered in London, is reportedly growing 300 percent a year. The company had previously raised over $220 million in previous funding rounds. However with Volkswagen’s new $300 million investment, the company will surely be valued over $500 million. If you found this post interesting and would like to read more on startups funding and financing, checkout my twitter @ for more information. Thanks for reading!
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