Via raises $200 million to optimize ride-sharing routes with AI

Transportation startup Via today announced that it has raised $200 million in series E financing, bringing its total raised to over $500 million at a $2.25 billion valuation — more than double its $1 billion valuation in 2017. According to cofounders Oren Shoval and Daniel Ramot, part of the funding will enable Via to expand its efforts around the novel coronavirus outbreak, which include emergency services and transit network optimization in locations like the city of Berlin, the state of Ohio, and the country of Malta.

Via’s ride-sharing app and service tap AI to combine multiple passengers or packages headed in the same direction in real time, ostensibly reducing urban congestion and emissions while providing a lower-cost mobility service. Shared rides are usually from corner-to-corner, requiring passengers to walk to a nearby pickup point indicated on the app.