Why we invested in Neobility

The future of cities

EGV recently invested in Neobility, the brainchild of Mihai Rotaru, who exited Clever Taxi to Daimler not so long ago. Here is how we looked at this deal and what made us buy into Neobility’s vision.

We live in crowded cities. And each week, an estimated 1.3 million people from rural areas move into cities, increasing urbanization at a fantastic rate. By 2040, two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers.

In an effort to address these incoming traffic problems, most of the mobility initiatives address personal needs: bicycles, scooters, and electric kick-scooters are last-mile solutions for each of us as individuals.

But what Neobility does is to rethink and address public transportation needs. This approach has the effect of freeing up traffic, improving energy efficiency, increasing air quality, ultimately increasing comfort and shortening transit times for a large number of people. An updated public transportation system is an update of the city itself.

We change as individuals with time, the city around us grows and evolves, the traffic gets more intense, entire neighborhoods and communities are being re-designed by the economic forces. And yet, the bus-stop is today exactly where it was 30 years ago — I remember when I was taking the 139 bus towards the market; now even the market re-located elsewhere.

Neobility understands this. Their algorithms optimize the routes of buses, and other public transportation means so that anyone can practically hail a bus to take them from the corner and drop them off within 100 meters of the destination.

Neobility’s long-term vision is to become a platform for cities to adopt in order to optimize their public transport — which also implies a perfectly functional integration with other personal transport solutions.

In this respect, the investment in Neobility is a perfect sample of our Infrastructure for innovation thesis at work.