The investment supports key software infrastructure for achieving sustainable, digital bus operations.
Volvo Group Venture Capital, the CVC of Volvo Group with the aim to drive transformation through venture investments and to support collaborations between start-ups and the Volvo Group, today announced a strategic investment in Optibus, a cloud-native, end-to-end software platform for public transportation planning and operations, to advance bus electrification and the digitalization of the public transportation industry. The investment highlights the companies’ shared commitment to sustainable bus fleets and more efficient transportation operations, and reinforces the scalability of Optibus, which last month became the first unicorn company dedicated to public transportation.
High quality, sustainable public transportation can only be achieved through industry-wide digitalization and vehicle electrification. Yet manual and legacy planning tools are still commonplace worldwide, and electric buses have only captured about 20% of the city bus market in Europe and 2% in the US.
“Optibus offers a scalable SaaS solution and has doubled its revenue year over year. We are impressed by the founders, the team culture, and the company’s achievements. We believe the Volvo Group can add considerable strategic value to the continued development of the business,” says Christina Brinck, Investment Director, Volvo Group Venture Capital.
The bus market is transforming due to digitalization, electrification, and changes in business models. Advanced software solutions are key for cities and bus operators to take advantage of market developments. Optibus and Volvo Group will collaborate to create mutual strategic learnings and growth opportunities.
“The collaboration with Optibus will contribute to our efforts to support customers with more efficient and sustainable transport solutions,” says Anna Westerberg, President of Volvo Buses.
Using optimization algorithms, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, Optibus develops and provides an all-in-one software platform for digitalizing and optimizing the work processes involved in public transportation planning and management. The software streamlines business operations, improves passenger services, and supports a smooth transition to 100% electric bus fleets. The SaaS start-up boasts strong business growth; its revenue has doubled year over year, its valuation rose to $1.3B last month, and the number of cities using Optibus has more than doubled in the past year, growing to 1,000 cities in 26 countries across North and South America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific.
“We are honored to receive this strategic investment from Volvo to enable greener, more efficient public transportation operations through better software infrastructure. Between Volvo, as a global OEM with decades of auto industry expertise, and Optibus, as an agile, quickly scaling SaaS company, this relationship spurs the synergy needed to advance digitalization and more sustainable fleets,” said Amos Haggiag, CEO and co-founder of Optibus.
About Volvo Group
The Volvo Group drives prosperity through transport and infrastructure solutions, offering trucks, buses, construction equipment, power solutions for marine and industrial applications, financing and services that increase our customers’ uptime and productivity. Founded in 1927, the Volvo Group is committed to shaping the future landscape of sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions. The Volvo Group is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, employs almost 95,000 people and serves customers in more than 190 markets. In 2021, net sales amounted to SEK 372 billion (EUR 37 billion). Volvo shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. www.volvogroup.com
About Volvo Group Venture Capital
Volvo Group Venture Capital was founded in 1997 and invests in venture companies in North America and Europe. The aim is to drive transformation by facilitating the creation of new services and solutions and to support collaborations between start-ups and the Volvo Group. The market trends shaping the future of transportation and the strategic priorities of the Volvo Group define the investment focus areas: Logistics Services, Site Solutions, Electrification, and Climate Tech.