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uMob acquires bankrupt MaaS Global, expands mobility integration

Rotterdam, The Netherlands, April 18, 2024 The umob, a Dutch MaaS platform that lets users plan and book various forms of transportation, like scooters and public transport, in one app, has acquired MaaS Global, the Finnish developer of the Whim MaaS app, following MaaS Global’s bankruptcy filed in March 2024. The Finnish mobility scale-up, active in Vienna, Antwerp, Helsinki, Turku, Tokyo, Birmingham and throughout Switzerland. The acquisition brings together MaaS provider with a well-established app and the resources of a growing platform, potentially shaping the future of urban mobility.

MaaS Global filed for bankruptcy due to its business model. Their focus on a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) subscription model proved challenging to make profitable. While they had users (around 10,000 active in Helsinki), the costs of providing mobility options outweighed the subscription fees they collected.

MaaS Global is the company behind the Whim app, which allows users to view all available travel options in one app. The company, founded in Finland in 2015, the Mobility-as-a-Service company and Whim is the commercial MaaS service developed. The scale-up raised over $75 million in funding from NordicNinja, BP Ventures, Toyota and Mitsubishi, among others. The Whim app was rolled out in several major cities and counted 120 employees at its peak. Whim has paved the road for MaaS globally, boasting 1 million users and facilitating over 30 million rides. The Rotterdam-based umob is appointed by the curator as the takeover party.

However, umob endeavors to sustain Whim’s operations, retaining its identity, while leveraging MaaS Global’s ten years of expertise in MaaS. “The acquisition of MaaS Global represents an acceleration in our mission to make umob a global MaaS platform. We soft-launched in the Netherlands last year, so that we could optimize our app, but now we are growing quickly. We integrated Cooltra, Donkey Republic, GO Sharing, public transport, and taxis, successfully merging mopeds, bikes, and transportation services. Our aim is to integrate all forms of mobility. Joining forces with MaaS Global, who has undoubtedly integrated more transport than anyone on a global level, enables us to faster scale throughout Europe,” says Raymon Pouwels, co-founder of umob.

“I am happy to see all the hard work and experiences of MaaS Global put into good use with umob. MaaS as a concept is still at its infancy and umob represents the consumer facing approach that will drive the concept forward,” says Sampo Hietanen, the founder of MaaS Global and the inventor behind the concept MaaS.

All providers in one app

The umob’s MaaS platform fully integrates mobility providers into the umob app. Regardless of the provider, users can plan and pay for their trip with just one app, ensuring the same price. Integrating necessitates extensive cooperation from providers and governmental bodies striving to tackle urban mobility challenges in their respective cities. Back in October 2023, umob raised $6.5 million to achieve this in The Netherlands.

“By integrating all mobility providers in one app, we not only make traveling easier for everyone. We also make mobility challenges more transparent for municipalities to solve them. We utilize anonymized data to analyze commuting patterns, pinpoint bottlenecks, and identify opportunities for enhancing transport sustainability. The acquisition of MaaS Global is also about knowledge. It’s important to us in today’s labor market, experienced specialists who are able to solve the global mobility challenges,” says Bibi Jorissen, co-founder of umob.

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