zoom, a startup that provides customized transportation services for school-age children, has announced a $130 million Series D raise, bringing its total funding to more than $200 million. The company intends to use the funds to add 10,000 new electric vehicles to its platform with the ultimate goal of achieving 100% electric vehicles by 2025.
In anticipation of parking large numbers of batteries during off-peak hours, Zūm recently partnered with AutoGrid, which provides energy management and distribution software, to turn its fleet into a giant virtual power plant, Which gives energy back to the grid.
Series D funding, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 with participation from existing investors including Sequoia and BMW i Ventures, awarded Zam a $150 million contract to modernize San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) transportation Comes only a few months after it is done. Service. Zūm also hopes to use the capital to expand into new markets and districts, according to the company.
School transport has not changed much over the past century, despite the fact that it is often referred to as the largest mass transit system in the country. more than 26 million children Americans ride the bus every day, and it’s still an old yellow bus that drains diesel fuel as it travels on inefficient, untracked routes. Zūm’s service aims to bring that system to 2021 and beyond by distributing buses, vans and cars around school districts, saving transit time and addressing students with special needs, as well as reducing logistics Your advanced fleet management program is used to optimize.
Ritu Narayan, CEO and co-founder, said in a statement, “We started as a company for parents to set rides for their kids directly, yet we knew we needed to build on our success and There was an opportunity to expand our services across the system.” . “Today, we are taking a major step forward in addressing the systemic issues affecting school transport. We are modernizing the entire system because we believe schools, parents, children and drivers all deserve better.”
Transportation is one of the biggest costs of a school district. According to the company, by fixing inefficiencies such as circuitous routes and rigid schedules, Zūm has been able to save school districts such as an average of $3 million SFUSD per year. It has already worked with 4,000 schools throughout California, Seattle, Chicago and Dallas, and plans to expand its service to 12 states with Washington, DC as its next target in the coming years. .
Andrew Straub, investment director at SoftBank Investment Advisors, said in a statement, “Using data and technology, we believe Zūm will enhance safety for children as well as provide better services, efficiency and sustainability in schools. Modernizing transport.” “We are impressed by the immediate impact that Zūm has made for school districts that have deployed their service across their entire network of schools over the past year, including significant cost savings.”