Toyota and its insurance partner make significant investment in MaaS Global


Toyota Financial Services of Japan and its insurance partner, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company, have become one of the most significant investors in the Finnish company MaaS Global, the leading developer of the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept.

MaaS Global is a startup established in April 2015 with a business plan to bring the MaaS concept into reality, by building the world’s first mobility ecosystem. MaaS Global aspires to upgrade the service level of transportation by joining together public and private transportation providers to collaborate and integrate services that will create a seamless and compelling travel experience for everyone, locally and globally.

MaaS Global has raised over €10m (US$11.2m) of investment in its latest funding round. In addition to Toyota and Aioi, current investors include: Transdev, Karsan Otomotiv Sanayii and Ticaret AS, and Veho Oy AB.

MaaS Global’s Whim app allows users to plan journeys and purchase various mobility options through a single service. Whim is now available in the Helsinki region of Finland, and will also be going live in the UK’s West Midlands area, and the Amsterdam district of the Netherlands later this year.

The latest funding round means MaaS Global can prepare for global growth by scaling its services to international markets, and in the next five years, the company will set its sights on expanding its services to all forms of transport worldwide. Toyota and Aioi’s investment matches both companies’ strategic aim of making mobility services a part of their business, as interest in car ownership declines in big cities.

“Private car ownership will not be pleasant in cities for much longer: it is slow, expensive and environmentally unfriendly. The technology for seamless consumption of mobility services is already here,” said Sampo Hietanen (top), MaaS pioneer and founder and CEO of MaaS Global.

“Cooperation with one of the best-known brands in the world is extremely positive news for us. Toyota’s global network, high-quality R&D and genuinely customer-oriented culture will give our company a strong lead, as it grows toward being the largest player in this sector.”

Riki Inuzuka, CEO of Toyota Financial Services, commented, “We are very pleased to partner with MaaS Global and work together on the development of multi-modal mobility solutions. The vision and business model of MaaS Global marries with Toyota’s strategic objective to serve the mobility needs of our current and future customers.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).