GoTo Global, the vehicle sharing tech platform founded in Israel in 2008, raised $19 million this week in a Series B funding round led by WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann.
Neumann is investing $10 million in GoTo Global (also known as GoTo Mobility, and formerly Car2Go) and will take a 33 percent equity stake, the company announced in a press statement. Another $9 million loan from Shagrir Group Vehicle Services, GoTo Global’s parent company, was converted into an equity investment.
GoTo Global offers shared mobility-as-a-service and operates in 13 cities worldwide, allowing users to book shared cars, electric scooters, bicycles, and mopeds through a single app. In Israel, it operates free-floating shared car services Auto-Tel and Car2Go in the Tel Aviv area. In 2019, the company integrated its tech with Israeli-founded transit data company Moovit, now an Intel company, to offer commuters access to its shared car services.
Earlier this year, GoTo Global moved to expand its presence in Europe with additional fleets of electric scooters in Malta.
“The alternative transportation sector is seeing an unprecedented boom and is expected to bring in over $ 600 billion by 2025,” said GoTo Global CEO Gil Laser in the press statement.
“These days, we are witnessing that the terrible coronavirus pandemic – that is affecting each and every one of us – is actually increasing the potential of our activities given the global trend of forgoing private vehicles and the need for people to get around without relying on public transportation,” added Laser.
“Shared mobility, and transportation in general, was one of the industries hit hard by the economy lock-downs as people were required to self-isolate,” Laser said in an announcement cited by TechCrunch. “But we are the ones who made the come-back fastest, we are +12% back to pre-lockdown baseline. We understand that although on one hand shared transport may not seem to be the safest solution, on the other hand it is perceived as a safer option than public transport and it is definitely a much cheaper option than an owned car.”
Laser indicated that the company will use the funds to continue fuel its expansion worldwide and launch operations in new European cities later this year.
Neumann’s backing of GoTo Global is the first publicized investment by the Israeli-American entrepreneur since the WeWork debacle last year.
Neumann stepped down as WeWork CEO in September amid allegations of misbehaviors including self-dealings, ahead of an ill-fated IPO. A month later, a deal was struck with Japanese holding company Softbank, WeWork’s main backer, to take control of the company and buy out some of the equity owned by Neumann and others. The deal included a commitment of $5 billion in funding and a tender offer for another $3 billion for existing shareholders outside of Softbank. SoftBank has since pulled out of the deal citing “unfulfilled conditions,” prompting Neumann to file a lawsuit claiming breach of contract.