BMW Gets Scoop of Ride-Sharing App

Automakers continue scrambling to get piece of ride-sharing pie.

by on May.26, 2016

BMW now has skin in the ride-sharing game with its investment in California-based Scoop. The terms of the deal were not announced.

BMW has joined the list of automakers investing in car sharing and ride sharing apps.

BMW i Ventures, the German luxury carmaker’s New York-based venture capital fund, has announced a strategic investment of an undisclosed size in San Francisco Scoop Technologies, Inc., creators of the carpooling mobile application “Scoop.”

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Since launching in August 2015, Scoop commuters have taken more than 40,000 trips, offsetting nearly 500,000 in commute mileage for riders. Originally launched in Pleasanton, California, Scoop now also operates commute trips into San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and North San Jose, California.

Scoop targets major employers, office parks, and local governments to offer employees an affordable and effective transportation solution and its network has come to include companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, Salesforce, Workday, Airbnb, Tesla and Sandisk. BMW also has a major research center in Silicon Valley south of San Francisco.

Scoop features an app that accessible for both phone operating systems: Android, featured here, and iOS.

“Scoop’s carpooling offer is a great help for urban traffic and parking problems in cities, but it also enables employers in finding and supporting sustainable transportation solutions for their employees. Through this investment, BMW Mobility Services and Scoop together could offer a practical carpooling solution to a problem facing cities, starting here in the US.” said Ulrich Quay, Head of BMW i Ventures.”

“Scoop’s mission is to reduce the impact that traffic has on our lives,” said Rob Sadow, CEO of Scoop. “For most employees, driving to and from work is the most frustrating time of the day – it’s expensive, unproductive, and stressful. We’ve built an app that allows commuters to enjoy all the benefits of carpooling without the hassle. This financing will enable our team to bring Scoop to more commuters in our area and beyond.”

(Toyota, VW announce ride-sharing partnerships. Click Here for the story.)

Earlier this week, the world’s two largest automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG, are making large investments in ridesharing.

Toyota plans to invest $1 billion in Uber, the ridesharing pioneer, after signing a memorandum of understanding to explore collaboration, starting with trials, in countries where ridesharing is expanding, according to a statement by both companies.

As part of the partnership, Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership are making what is described as a “strategic investment in Uber,” Toyota said.

(To see more about GM’s newly launched car-sharing service, Click Here.)

Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group opens plans to pay $300 million for stake in Gett, a ride hailing app with a presence in 60 cities, mostly in Europe, Gett is one of the fastest growing ride hailing providers in the mobility-on-demand area. Based on a joint strategy, according on-demand mobility services will be further expanded, Volkswagen said in a statement.

The Volkswagen Group’s expressed goal is to generate a substantial share of sales revenue from such new business models by 2025, VW said in a statement.

“Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025,” says Matthias Müller, Chairman of the VW Board of Management.

“Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs,” Muller said.

(Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi. Click Here for the story.)

The VW and Toyota announcements followed the recent disclosure by Apple, which seems determined to enter the automotive business that it planned to invest $1 billion in Didi, China’s well-established and growing answer to Uber.

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