BMW i Ventures is investing in Zūm, a provider of transportation for school districts and working families. The amount invested was unspecified. However, it is part of $40 million in so-called Series C funding from new global investors BMW i Ventures (lead), NGP Capital, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Draper Nexus, and Clearvision along with existing investors Spark Capital and Sequoia Capital. Dr. Ulrich Quay of BMW i Ventures becomes a “board observer.” The 4-year old company claims it wants to become the world’s safest and largest child transportation provider.
BMW i Ventures is the venture capital arm of BMW Group. It invests money and resources in startups in the fields of autonomous driving, digital car and automotive cloud, e-mobility, artificial Intelligence and data, industry 4.0, shared and on-demand mobility, customer digital life, and energy services.
The new funding will be used to expand Zūm’s business model and increase school partnerships throughout the country as the company works to double its footprint by the 2019-2020 school year. Funding will also support the advancement of Zūm’s proprietary technology, such as its GPS vehicle tracking and real-time system dashboards for school districts to have visibility into a child’s commute for enhanced safety and efficiency.
Zūm added more than 100 new school districts in 2018, and now operates in 400 cities, transporting children to more than 2,000 public, private and charter schools, with a collective 750,000 students in attendance. Zūm currently services schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, all of Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. Dallas and Chicago are launching soon, with more expansion promised.