The student transport service secured backing from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and BMW i Ventures as it looks to fuel its expansion.
Internet and telecommunications group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and automotive manufacturer BMW’s corporate venturing unit BMW i Ventures participated in US-based student transportation service Zum’s $130m series D round yesterday.
Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital also contributed to the round, which brings Zum’s total funding to $200m. Andrew Straub, an investor at Softbank Investment Advisers, which manages Vision Fund 2, will take a board seat at the company.
Zum provides school transportation services for school districts and plans to use the proceeds to expand into new markets, growing its presence to 12 states from its current four. It also aims to advance its transition into electric vehicles, with a view to its fleet being completely electric by 2025.
BMW i Ventures led the company’s $40m series C round in February 2019, which also featured Volvo Cars Tech Fund, an investment subsidiary of automotive manufacturer Volvo, as well as Sequoia Capital, NGP Capital, Clearvision Ventures, Draper Nexus and Spark Capital.
The series C round took the total raised by Zum to $67m. In 2018, it closed a $19m series B round led by Spark Capital that included Sequoia Capital, which had itself led a $5.5m series A round the previous year.
Ritu Narayan, co-founder and chief executive of Zum, said: “While nearly everyone in the US has an association with the iconic yellow school bus, student transportation is a problem hidden in plain sight.
“We have developed the technology to reimagine this industry now, to do it safely, and to do it well. We are honoured to have the support of Andrew and Softbank as well as our existing investors to help us take this vision to the next level.”