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BMW i Ventures Made Strategic Investment in RideCell Startup

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(Credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images ) The logo of German car maker BMW is pictured during the annual press conference of the German car maker BMW in Munich, southern Germany, on March 16, 2016. GERMANY-AUTO-COMPANY-EARNINGS-BMW
April 8
7:29 AM 2016

BMW founded i Ventures to invest in the location-based mobility services company. On Wednesday the venture capital announced its strategic investment in RideCell.

BMW group aimed to keep update in the mobility services, as the sector is in the continuous stage of evolution. In order to do so, the German carmaker founded its venture capital company, i Ventures in 2011.

i Ventures provides equity financing to high-potential start-ups and high-growth companies dedicated to shape the future of global mobility. It has already raised 100 million fund to invest in the early- and mid-stage investments in the area of mobility services.

In its official release, BMW announced strategic investment in RideCell, the leading provider of software to power mobility-as-a-service (MaaS). BMW i Ventures Managing Director Ulrich Quay said the New York-based venture capital firm look forward to see the solution to converge urban transportation, without limited to ride sharing and ride hauling service..

"The convergence of transportation trends in cities is of key importance to BMW. RideCell's technology platform provides agile tools to power services that span the entire mobility spectrum, including but not limited to car sharing; making them an ideal partner for BMW," Mr. Quay said.

CNET reported that in the past BMW had played around with navigation directions that take multiple modes of transportation into account. Such efforts took a lot of investments, therefore establishing venture capital arm specializing in mobility software companies should not be a surprise. As the startup companies could benefit BMW directly.

In the meantime BMW also targeted its Connected app to be integrated with mobility softwares in the future. Strategic investment in RideCell marked another round of investment which has been made by BMW's venture capital arm since 2011.

RideCell was founded in 2008 in Atlanta to provide unique cloud service for field force & fleet automation. Two years after its founding, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) contracted the company to develop a service that would alert bus passengers to delays based on real-time traffic data.

Technology developed by RideCell attracted BMW which previously had invested in 11 startup companies. RideCell CEO Aarjav Trivedi expressed his excitement in a statement quoted by Autoblog, "We are very excited to have BMW as a strategic partner to collaborate on building the future of mobility. Our vision is to build tools that allow our customers to run the world better. Our platform is completely autonomous and our multi-modal offering across fixed route, on-demand and car sharing services in tens of cities provides insightful data giving us a unique perspective on designing cities"

With the new investment in RideCell, BMW expected to keep updated in the area of mobility service. The German carmaker engage the location-based mobility service with the most flexible way with i Venture as its venture capital arm. Therefore, BMW can keep focus on its core business while supporting other area which can benefit the company's future direction.

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