Believe it or not but the world’s biggest oil nation alongside giant car companies are funding startups that may change forever the way we get around. Here’s why.
Ride-sharing apps have been attracting big money since the start of the year, with Saudia Arabia’s $3.5 billion investment Thursday into Uber Technologies Inc. only the most recent example of the industry’s $9 billion’s haul.
Some are passive investments in the future of transportation. Others have a strategic rationale, ranging from a desire to sell more cars to cab drivers to upending the traditional rental-car market. In several cases, automakers are joining startups in ventures that could end car ownership as we know it today. In that future, we get to Point A from Point B summoning fleets of self-driving cars by smartphone.
Put into context: The amount flowing to ride-sharing apps so far in 2016 is almost twice the amount invested in another hot startup segment — food-related technology startups including delivery services — in all of 2015.
Here’s a list of the most notable ride-sharing investments in the past six months, ranked by deal size, and what they are all about.
- More investment in transport than in any other category.