Israeli company HopOn today completed a $3.5 million Series A financing round. One of the most prominent investors in the current round is by Israeli company Dan Public Transportation, which also invested in HopOn's seed round. The company plans to use the money to continue development of mobile ticketing and big data products.
HopOn's app can now be used on Dan bus company routes in the Greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area to read QR code and enter a bus through any of its doors. HopOn also operates with transportation companies in the Czech Republic and Spain. "We're doing something similar in Europe, but instead of reading QR code, which is complicated, we install a beacon (small transmitter)in each bus, and the app reads the transmitter and automatically buys a ticket for you. You don't have to take your phone out of your pocket," says HopOn CEO Amir Rosenzweig.
The company is currently conducting two pilots in Germany in Berlin and Lubeck. Rosenzweig adds, "One of the reasons why the Berlin municipality wants the product is that it generates information that enables the municipality to improve public transportation in the city. If a passenger buys a ticket through HopOn's app, you can know where he got on and where he got off. The municipality is gathering all of this information, analyzing it, and using the results to improve public transportation in the city. It's already happening in Spain."
About expansion of the company's business in Israel, Rosenzweig said, "We're waiting for the Ministry of Transport. In Europe, public transportation companies belong to the municipality, not the Ministry of Transport. Municipalities in Europe are very close to residents, and want them to get better service, because they eventually have to run for reelection. They have a much stronger motive than the government ministry to provide good services."
Rosenzweig also said that HopOn was currently awaiting operating authorization for a trial on Dan bus lines in Beer Sheva, which was recently declared a smart city. The trial will also enable passengers to enter and exit the buses without taking any action at all, similar to the model used in Europe. Rosenzweig asserts, "You will be able to pay for the ride afterwards, rather than in advance. It's a post-pay system, like for mobile phones. You can travel freely each month, and a bill according to use will be sent at the end of the month."
Dan Public Transportation chairperson Shmuel Rafaeli said that in view of the growth in the urban population and the transition to smart cities in recent years, there was a need for innovation in public transportation. "Transportation companies have to come with solutions that will enable passengers to reach their destination at a reasonable price with maximum speed in various types of transportation vehicles: buses, light railways, bicycles, shared vehicles, and so forth."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 18, 2018
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