Vancouver-based Spare, a provider of mobility software for public transit, ride-sharing and other shared transportation, has raised C$18 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Inovia Capital, with participation from Kensington Capital, Link VC, Ramen VC, Ridge Ventures, TransLink Capital, Japan Airlines, Nicola Wealth and others. Spare will use the funds raised to further develop its mobility operating system.
Spare closes oversubscribed $18M Series A to build the world’s first mobility operating system
VANCOUVER — Spare, a leading provider of mobility software for public transit, ride sharing and other shared transportation, announced the completion of an oversubscribed $18M Series A led by Inovia Capital with participation from Kensington Capital, Link VC, Ramen VC, Ridge Ventures, TransLink Capital and Japan Airlines (as JAL Innovation Fund) and Nicola Wealth, amongst others.
It will use the investment to further develop its mobility operating system, with the goal of enabling better cooperation between different transportation providers, increasing access to cost-efficient shared rides and encouraging more people to opt for collective transportation.
“COVID-19 really taught us that the scheduled, fixed-route transit model isn’t always the answer. At the height of the pandemic, as transit agencies cut back on fixed routes due to declining ridership, our on-demand technology helped them maintain vital service as they rebuilt. Looking towards the future, our operating system will bring a lot of flexibility to the shared mobility landscape, which is good for riders, providers and the planet. People shouldn’t have to choose between convenience, availability and sustainability. By allowing riders to seamlessly transition from an on-demand shuttle to a fixed-route rapid bus to a pooled shared-ride via one ecosystem that brings together multiple providers on the back-end, they can have all three. That’s our vision for creating a delightful rider experience,” says Spare CEO Kristoffer Vik Hansen.
Thanks to Spare’s highly-automated platform, this vision is well on its way. The Vancouver-based company has revolutionized how mobility startups and transit agencies run their businesses. Its toolkit, which includes data-driven transit planning, analytics dashboards and a purpose-built customer relationship management hub, enables anyone to operate an efficient on-demand mobility service. By optimizing their operations — from routing and driver scheduling to fleet management and service planning — transportation providers can better focus on addressing some of the most pressing mobility challenges facing cities today such as first-and-last-mile transportation and transit deserts.
Spare, whose clients include Dallas Area Rapid Transit and ride sharing start-up Earth Rides, is at the forefront of several ideas in the industry. It invented on-demand commingling, which lets mobility providers consolidate different service categories onto the same fleet, improving passengers-per-vehicle-hour and cost per trip. For example, a transit agency can use the excess capacity on its paratransit fleet to launch a microtransit service for the general public. Partners using Spare’s commingling approach include Cheyenne Transit Program in Wyoming, GATRA just outside of Boston, and Citibus in Lubbock, TX.
It also pioneered automated trip brokering and dispatching. While historically transit agencies have used third-party operators to deliver service to riders through manual dispatching, Spare can broker those trips automatically and in real time based on supply and demand, thereby increasing availability, reducing wait times and removing the onus on transit providers to do this work themselves. Partners using this concept include Durham Region Transit, just outside of Toronto, Dallas Areas Area Rapid Transit in Dallas and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in St Petersburg, FL.
“Spare is building the operating system for the future of mobility. Its vision of how public and private transportation providers should be able to collaborate without technological impediments to offer a more positive and equitable shared transportation experience to people everywhere really resonated with us and we’re excited to see them grow,” says Todd Simpson, Partner at Inovia Capital.
In order to make this vision come to life, Spare will be scaling up its team across all departments, with a special focus on research and development and growth.
“Our people are really at the core of what we do. From our team members working with our partners around the globe, to the ones working to make our products more integrated, easier to use and more robust, we couldn’t do it without them. This investment will help us add mission-focused people to Spare who want to create tangible change for our cities and communities,” says Vik Hansen.
Spare is a leading provider of mobility software. Its platform allows transportation providers both in the public and private sectors to automate their network’s day-to-day on-demand mobility operations. Its philosophy, which rests on its open API, is that anyone can and should be able to launch an efficient, well-run transportation network. Spare is bringing its modern approach to transportation to thousands of people every day. Read more at https://sparelabs.com/.
About Inovia Capital:
Inovia Capital is a venture firm that partners up with audacious founders ready to build enduring global technology companies. We are known to roll up our sleeves and serve founders with dedicated, long-term mentorship, a global talent network and strategic support for global scale. Inovia Capital manages over US$1.9B across early and growth-stage funds and holds offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, San Francisco and London. Read more at https://www.inovia.vc/.