Masabi, a U.K.-based developer of mobile ticketing and public transport payments software, today announced that it’s secured $20 million in a series B round led by Smedvig Capital, with participation from MMC Ventures and other investors. The fresh capital, which brings the company’s total raised to roughly $40.8 million following a $12 million venture round in December 2015, will be used to accelerate the global expansion of its platform, according to CEO Brian Zanghi.
It’s poised for growth. Last year, Masabi validated over 85 million passengers through its software-as-a-service platform Justride, which boasts integrations with Transit, Jorudan, Keolis, Kisio Digital, Gertekand, Jorudan, and other partners. Notably, Justride also handles in-app public transport ticketing for Uber in Denver, Colorado, and it’s on track to exceed $1 billion in annual ticketing sales in the next year.
“For too long, cutting-edge innovation in transit ticketing was only available to megacities,” said Zanghi. “But a quick and easy ticketing experience shouldn’t be the sole preserve of these cities. It should be available to passengers using any public transport service anywhere around the globe.”
Justride enables customers such as New York’s MTA, Los Angeles’ Metrolink, Las Vegas’ RTC, and Boston’s MBTA to choose how they’d like to sell tickets to their passengers. White-label templates allow agencies to brand the ticket-buying experience however they please, while Justride’s API enables third-party apps and sites to push tickets to users’ accounts.
From Justride’s cloud-hosted administrative dashboard, Masabi clients can perform tasks like auditing ticket sales, issuing entitlements and concessions, accessing revenue and usage reports, analyzing operational trends, managing customer service requests, and monitoring validation assets. And through the startup’s Inspect Validation Suite, which offers a number of off-the-shelf validation solutions (including gate retrofitting) that work with existing ticketing hardware, they can add support for contactless bank cards (Contactless EMV), account-based tokens (which use a barcode linked to a stored value), smartcards, contactless mobile payments via services like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and paper barcodes.
Masabi’s Inspect Handheld app for iPhone and Android, for instance, scans and decodes barcodes and smartcard tickets in less than 490 milliseconds, while the Val100 — a standalone ticket scanner designed for use on buses, ferries, and station platforms — accommodates EMV, near-field communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) technologies.
“Through innovations such as simply being able to tap a contactless bank card to travel and integrations into the top mobility apps, Masabi is delivering on this vision,” said Zanghi. “As we enter a new phase, having the support of Smedvig Capital, MMC Ventures, Mastercard and our other investors means we can continue to drive the market forward and help ever more cities and transit operators around the world embrace the latest in ticketing and payments technology and the future of practical MaaS.”
Masabi — which claims that Justride takes just “days” to deploy and that it lets the average customer purchase a ticket in 30 seconds or less — says it’s working with more than 50 “leading” transport authorities, operators, partners, and cities in 10 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Additionally, Masabi says its Inspect Validation Suite is live with over 17 agencies across three continents around the globe and validating “millions” of tickets every year.
Masabi has competition in mobility and transportation service providers like Transloc, Passport, and SilverRail Technologies, but its backers believe that the Masabi’s momentum speaks for itself.
“The combination of Masabi’s track record of customers, innovation and technology made this investment decision one we feel extremely enthusiastic about and we are excited about working closely with them to accelerate their global expansion,” said Smedvig managing director Jonathan Lerner.
“We’re proud to see Masabi having scaled from London to the world, changing the way people move around cities every day. $1 billion in annual ticket sales is only a milestone — the next phase is about partnering with and powering those that the public trust to get them where they are going, from transit agencies to ride-sharing and planning apps,” added MMC Ventures partner Simon Menashy. “As one of Masabi’s earliest investors, it has been great to have Smedvig Capital buy into Masabi’s vision.”
In addition to its London headquarters, Masabi has offices in New York, Denver, and Cluj, Romania. Other investors include Alvarium Investments, m8 Capital, Mastercard, and Keolis.