While taxi hailing services have taken the world by storm over the past few years, U.S. based Carpooling service Via has quietly gone from strength to strength by offering an alternative service. After finding its feet in the U.S., Via is now looking to expand into Europe and according to report by TechCrunch, the company has secured total funding of $250 million. The funding round was led by German car making giant Daimler and Via has called it a 'strategic partnership'.

New frontier

The fundraising effort headlined by Daimler will raise around $250 million according to people who are close to the developments.

According to the co-founder and chief technology officer of Via, Oren Shoval, the company will use these funds to expand into Europe. The company will initially launch in London and then Paris, before going on to launch in other major cities in Europe. Via will also ink licensing agreements with other transport service providers like Keolis in France and Arriva in Germany. The company will provide Arriva and Keolis with transport solutions.

However, the investment round shows that in spite of the surge in the demand for taxi hailing services, a carpool service like Via has a definite place in the market. Via currently operates its carpooling services in Washington DC, New York, and Chicago. The company has revealed that it completes 1 million rides per month on average.

Daimler's interests

Daimler's involvement in this funding round might raise some eyebrows but actually, it makes perfect sense for the German Car Maker. The company has invested in start-ups geared towards transportation in the past and some of the better-known ones include myTaxi, Momenta and Here among others. On the other hand, the involvement with Via will provide Daimler with insights on the car of the future.

The car makers will then be able to produce cars that will be in line with the requirements of carpooling services and similar other on-demand car services.

The chief of Mercedez-Benz vans, Volker Mornhinweg, spoke about the tie up in a statement. He said, “Via is one of the most successful providers in the growing ride-sharing sector while Mercedes-Benz Vans has the perfect vehicles that are being continuously optimized for this job. By deepening our cooperation with Via, we are thus taking the next logical step in the context of our strategy for the future and are expanding our range of new mobility services.”