MaaS Global Receives Investment From Toyota Financial Services

Toyota Financial Services and its insurance partner Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company led the most recent round of funding for a Finnish mobility startup MaaS Global, initiating an “ongoing” partnership between the lender and the startup, Mobility Finance has learned.

MaaS Global, which secured over $11 million in funding, seeks to build an end-to-end mobility ecosystem with its Whim app, Sampo Hietanen, chief executive of MaaS Global, told Mobility Finance. The Whim app allows users to subscribe for public and private transportation services, including purchasing subway and bus tickets, as well as subscribing to a set number of rideshare trips.

Currently, the service is available in Helsinki, with plans to expand to the West Midlands in the United Kingdom and in Amsterdam in 2017, Hietanen said. Other goals, he said, are to scale users and build out the technology to bring together all possible transit options in the Whim umbrella app.

Hietanen indicated that the partnership with Toyota Financial Services is ongoing. “We want to learn about the financing part, about customers over there [in Japan],” adding that Whim is a new way of auto financing. “We are offering a monthly subscription for all your mobility needs, so you don’t need the hassle of ownership – which is close to financing isn’t it?”

Toyota Financial Services did not respond for a request to comment.

The future of auto finance and the consumption of mobility will be subscription, Hietanen said; instead of having 20 disparate mobility apps there will be one that takes care of all of your needs. “The whole idea is ‘we’ll get you there,’” he said.

This umbrella-mobility idea appears to be an emerging model for mobility companies. moovel, for example, also aims to be a single point of entry and payment for all transit options in the future with its Fare Connect technology, Chief Financial Officer Sadhana Shenoy told Mobility Finance previously.

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