Israeli navigation app developer Moovit is launching a ridesharing services trial that will allow private drivers to offer rides for a small charge. Founded in 2011, Moovit has 75 employees, according to IVC, and already generates revenue from its public transport services, which will now integrate a ridesharing option in Israel.
The new service that the company will test will be called Moovit Carpool and will be similar in nature to RideWith, which was launched by Google unit Waze in Israel six months ago. Uber X offers a similar service worldwide that is not available in Israel. The concept behind all these services is to let drivers give rides for payment.
Such services by private drivers has aroused major protests from taxi drivers worldwide and also impinge on regulatory matters including insurance, tax on income etc. Moovit said in response that every driver is entitled to make only two journeys per day. Presumably the startup sought legal advice before launching the ridesharing service.
The new service will be added to Moovit's existing public transport app and allow users to choose between public transport and ridesharing. The ridesharing charge will be similar to the public transport charge for the same journey and will allow the driver to make savings on fuel, while also reducing pollution.
Moovit CMO Alex Torres said, "The company is continually examining new solutions for its users, especially for those needing long journeys combining several means of transport. We decided to conduct a trial in Israel not only because there is a large and loyal app community here but also because Israelis have already proved many times in the past how open they are to new technological solutions."
Moovit, founded by CEO Nir Erez and VP operations Roy Bick, bills itself as the world's most popular public transport app. The company says the app is available in 60 countries and more than 800 cities and that the number of users has crossed the 30 million threshold. Moovit was chosen in 2013 as one of "Globes" most promising startups.
Six months ago, Moovit began a major collaboration with Israeli tax app Gett (formerly Get Taxi).
Moovit has raised $84 million to date with its last financing round in November 2014. Investors include former Waze president Uri Levine, Sequoia Israel, Gemini Israel, BRM Group, BMW ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, French company Keolis, Bernard Arno Group, and Vaizra Investments.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 4, 2016
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