Today, we are excited to announce a $6 million seed funding round led by Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan's largest trading company.
Why did we raise money? You can read more about the short answer to that question over at our official press release here, but the full answer really starts 3.5 years ago.
Hot off the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe discussing our investment during their most recent visit, we are getting one frequent question: why did we raise money? You can read more about the short answer to that question over at our official press release here, but the full answer really starts 3.5 years ago.
In October of 2014, the founders of Spare first met at an Irish pub to discuss the future. At the time, ride-hailing was growing at an incredible pace, transit ridership was starting to show stark decline, and autonomous vehicles were just on the horizon. We had also just spent the last 4 years of our university lives building autonomous vehicle systems to navigate sailboats autonomously across the Atlantic ocean. It is safe to say that transportation, in general, was top of mind. It was through those early conversations that a few things became apparent:
Transportation was going to change more in the next 10 years than it had in the last 100.
The shift in transportation modes and efficiency would likely be guided by a select few companies who controlled the existing consumer ride-hailing experience.
It is quite possible that without the proper tools, most existing transportation operators could get wiped out.
With these ideas in mind, we set out to change the transportation industry. We made it our goal not only to make these next-generation transportation tools available to anyone, but to accelerate the introduction of these new services into markets around the world.
Fast forward to today — we are now live on three continents, have more than doubled our team size in the last year, became profitable in 2018, and are quickly expanding within all our current markets. In order to double down on the growth that we see in the market, and to ensure that we provide the best platform for transportation services to all of our customers, we need to invest in a few things and make strategic partnerships that take us to the next level. This is where the funding comes into play. We are focusing our capital to scale in a few key areas, including:
- expanding sales worldwide, while continuing to maintain the same level of service and support for all customers;
- building out the capabilities of Spare Platform, enabling new modes of transportation that fit the needs of any city; and
- growing the support and operations team, as larger enterprises continue to move to Spare Platform.
Our lead investor, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), is also our launch partner for the Japanese market. We immediately found that MC shared our vision for transportation — yes the one we came up with in the Irish pub — and through this partnership we have already started providing software for commercial on-demand transit services, starting in Fukuoka, Japan.
We are currently in a transitional time, where transportation is changing at an incredibly rapid pace and access to new, previously unimagined, modes of travel is becoming universal. Spare is uniquely positioned to have an incredibly positive impact in transportation worldwide, nestled between this new transportation infrastructure and the cities that depend on it. Through this position, we can build new transportation standards that cities around the world can rely on and use to bring a positive impact to society.
While the new capital is a big milestone for Spare, it is only one step on our path to accelerating the global shift to efficient and autonomous mobility.
If you've made it this far and are passionate about our mission, take a look at our open positions!
To learn more about Spare and Spare Platform, visit us here.