Swiftly raises $10 million Series A to power real-time transit data in your city
Megan Rose Dickey
Swiftly just raised a $10 million Series A round led by VIA ID, Aster Capital, Renewal Funds and Wind Capital to grow its software-as-a-service business for cities’ transportation agencies. lt works by helping cities manage their transit systems and identify points in the schedule or route that negatively impact service efficiency and reliability.
Swiftly also offers real-time passenger info that will “predict when the bus will arrive in a way that is much more accurate than the current system,” Swiftly co-founder and CEO Jonny Simkin told TechCrunch. In fact, Simkin says Swiftly is up to 30% more accurate than current systems.
“It’s one thing to tell someone their bus is 10 minutes delayed, but if we can get to the root of the problem, it’s better for the city and stimulates the economy,” he said.
That’s where Swifty’s data platform comes in to gather insights and analyze historical data to rethink route planning and where to place stops. In one city, these insights led the customer to implement processes to change lights to green when a bus is running behind schedule.
Swiftly currently works with more than 50 cities and 2,500 transit professionals throughout the country. That comes out to powering more than 1.2 billion passenger trips per year. If you’ve never heard of Swiftly, you’re not alone. And that’s by design.
Swiftly is meant to be behind-the-scenes software that enables local transportation agencies to better manage their fleets and offerings to their respective riders. Swiftly’s customer is generally either a transit agency, a city or department of transportation.
“They buy our platform because they want to improve the passenger experience, and improve service reliability and efficiency,” Simkin said.
For the passenger, they experience Swiftly when they open Google Maps and look for transit routes or when they open a city’s specific transit service. One of Swiftly’s customers is the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, Calif. Its CIO, Gary Miskell, says Swiftly is one of the authority’s early innovation partners.
“With Swiftly’s innovative product development, VTA has been able to improve our real time information accuracy and provide cutting edge data to our planning and operations staff thus improving our transit system performance,” Miskell said in a statement.
With the funding, the plan is to expand to several hundred cities in the U.S. and worldwide.
“Public transit is very important to our communities and cities and it’s something that needs to be more efficient,” Simkin said. “Public transit is this extensive piece of the community and there to serve everyone, but often times those tools fall short.”