IESE venture capital fund Finaves has taken part in a $6 million financing round for the U.S. expansion of BusUp, a Barcelona-based shuttle company that provides flexible corporate commuting services.
BusUp said in a statement that the Series A financing round will allow it to expand operations in the U.S. and consolidate other existing markets in response to growing interest in employer-provided commuter benefits and mobility services.
The $6 million financing round is led by Proeza Ventures, the largest mobility investment firm in Latin America, and supported by leading U.S. transportation venture capital firm Autotech Ventures (investor in Lyft and Volta Charging), and IESE’s Finaves V, among others.
Thanks to its best-in-class technology, BusUp provides organizations of all sizes with a turnkey solution for creating and managing effective commuter programs, using shared route planning and optimized pick-up points and schedules to match employee transportation needs. The success of BusUp’s Shared Commuting Programs in Europe – where clients are seeing greater than 30% in cost savings, has been a turning point for the company, and the main reason for its expansion to the U.S. market.
The idea for BusUp was born in the classrooms of IESE, where the three co-founders were doing an Executive MBA. BusUp took part in IESE’s weGrow mentoring program for startups in 2019, and Finaves V was the first professional investor to support the company in an earlier financing round in 2018. In addition, BusUp has provided commuting services for students and employees at IESE’s Madrid campus.
Hybrid work requires flexible commuting solutions
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of workers to work from home rather than commute to the office, BusUp is adapting accommodate and plan for fluctuations in ridership to meet the anticipated trend of “hybrid workplaces”— a mix of in-office and remote work environments. BusUp’s solutions can easily be leveraged to incorporate strict sanitization procedures adapted to regional requirements and a central system for contact tracing.
Its clients number more than 100 organizations worldwide, including Accenture, Louis Vuitton, Siemens, Roche, Lilly, Cognizant, Nestlé and DXC Technologies.
“Trends show that the return to the office scenario will be dominated by hybrid or flexible work that will inevitably require flexible commuting solutions. One of Bill Gates’ predictions for the post-pandemic world is that ‘the corporate office will be shared,’ and we have already seen this happening in the EU naturally extending into shared commutes as well,” said Rui Stoffel, CEO and co-founder of BusUp.
“During the pandemic, we have also seen many mobility companies that are just now pivoting towards the B2B segment or just tapping into shared corporate solutions and, while we see these trends as a validation that our unique B2B approach is the right place to be when talking about commuting, we are also confident that our technology and quality of service has no match in the market and, with the backing of the world’s top tier mobility investors, we are uniquely positioned to extend our leading position into the U.S.” Stoffel added.
More sustainable commutes
BusUp is delivering a highly-effective path to meeting corporate sustainability goals, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of daily commutes up to 72% compared to car commutes. BusUp’s ability to share the service between nearby companies further reduces the environmental impact of each customer’s commuter program.
“One of the most important things that the pandemic has taught us is how much car commuting contributes to pollution and congestion in our cities,” said Enrique M. Zambrano, Principal at Proeza Ventures. “We are convinced that BusUp’s shared shuttle commuting solution offers one of the most sustainable paths forward for changing the world as we know it for generations to come.”
“The fundamental value proposition of not having to drive yourself to work is compelling. Ride sharing leads to clear and significant gains in terms of efficiency and flexibility for commuters, and visionary companies that offer this service to their employees benefit from increased productivity, and higher employee satisfaction and retention,” said Daniel Hoffer, Managing Director at Autotech Ventures. “For these reasons, we believe that BusUp’s shared solution will be a gamechanger for the U.S. commuting market by providing a safe, accessible and sustainable solution for companies of all sizes.”
Read more about BusUp’s story.