Daimler’s announcement relates to Via – a US-based mobility app which currently handles over a million rides per month in New York City, Washington DC and Chicago and which specializes in the on-demand shared ride segment of mobility.
Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Vans unit is forming a new joint venture with Via, to be based in Amsterdam, which will combine its vehicles with the Via platform to offer shared rides around European cities. Mercedes is putting $50 million into the JV and the new service will launch in London this year with other European cities to follow.
Daimler is also investing in and forming a strategic partnership with Via’s overall business. Reports suggest that Daimler has led a $250 million funding round (including the confirmed $50 million into the European JV).
Via has now raised nearly $390 million, according to Crunchbase.
The Via deal is the latest attempt by Daimler to diversify its interests beyond manufacturing vehicles. It has identified connectivity, autonomous driving, flexible use and services and electric drive systems as areas of future growth and has earmarked funds to build up these units.
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