BP to invest in urban mobility app

12 November 2019

12 November 2019 Oil company BP is continuing to expand its portfolio outside its oil business as it looks to secure its future in the changing automotive landscape. The company will invest €10 million in MaaS Global, a provider of digital mobility software designed to make transport easier and smarter. The company’s Whim app allows customers to access and connect on a single platform all available transport options in a city – from taxis, buses, bikes and rental cars, to ride-hailing services, shared e-scooters and e-bikes. The investment in the Finnish-based start-up supports BP’s strategy of developing and providing mobility and transportation options in an increasingly smarter, digital world, the company says in a statement. Staying ahead With a push towards electric vehicles, oil companies need to explore other avenues to ensure they remain relevant in the future automotive market. BP has already ensured it can be a part of the growing EV market, buying charging point supplier Chargemaster last year. The new business is already installing fast-charging stations at BP forecourts around the UK. Moving into the mobility market opens BP up to another growing revenue stream, as a younger generation looks away from traditional vehicle ownership, instead exploring other ways to get around urban areas. ′Whim is super convenient. It offers users a single-digital key that unlocks the full spectrum of city transport,’ says Roy Williamson, vice president Advanced Mobility at BP. ′It takes the hassle out of planning travel, taking on-board users’ preferences and connecting and booking their ideal transport choices.’ ′The MaaS Global team is at the forefront of a tech-enabled mobility evolution, from having to own a vehicle to being able to easily connect and use all available forms of transport. Our collaboration is a great example of BP’s vision for the future of transportation, mobility and integrated cities.’ Growth market The MaaS industry is forecast to grow significantly in revenue by 2030, as the market shifts towards a model of on-demand access to both public and private transport networks, the company believes. ′The world of transportation is going through disruption that is technology-enabled but, fundamentally, demand-driven,’ adds Sampo Hietanen, CEO and founder of MaaS Global. ′To us, having BP on board as a strategic investor is a real asset. BP’s global reach, its long experience in serving customers and technical expertise will be invaluable as we continue to build the ecosystem required to offer a seamless mobility platform to our users.’ With over six million trips made since its launch in Europe in November 2017, MaaS Global’s Whim app encompasses a city’s entire transport system and allows users to search, book and pay for all their transport needs in one place. Customers can access all modes of transport through either a pay-as-you-go model or a monthly subscription. After launching Whim in Helsinki, MaaS Global has made the service available in Birmingham, UK, Vienna, Austria, and Antwerp, Belgium.  BP’s investment will support expansion plans to roll out the app in additional cities across the globe, with immediate plans including Singapore and in the US. BP and Maas Global will also explore opportunities to integrate existing BP offers and technology into the platform.