H2 2020 Deep Dive on the Mobility Ecosystem from the Eyes of an International Investor
We are happy to present you with the latest installment in our series of industry deep dives, following our Foodtech, Industrial Tech, Wellbeing, Digital Health, Future of Work, Fintech and Artificial Intelligence reports.
In our newest report, we take a look at the Mobility ecosystem, focusing on the global 2020 funding outlook, the industry’s growth over the last decade, and how leaders like Uber, Grab, Citymapper and others are reshaping the way people and goods move around the world.
At White Star Capital, we approach mobility through four main subsectors: urban mobility, travel and hospitality, delivery and logistics, and long-distance transportation. Our portfolio includes startups such as Tier Mobility, a micro-mobility operator providing last-mile transportation to urban populations, including e-scooters and e-mopeds (the company just raised $250m in Series C funding); Finn.auto, a platform for flexible and climate-neutral car subscriptions (who just raised a $20M Series A); MindSay, a SaaS company developing an AI-powered assistant that helps companies in large B2C-oriented industries, such as travel and retail, optimize customer support and increase customer conversion; and Unacast, a proximity and location data platform that helps data-driven industries understand the physical world the same way we understand the online world.
2020 has been a pivotal year for the mobility space. The COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented measures across the globe, such as lockdowns, quarantines, curfews, or reinforced sanitary standards and processes in numerous sectors. These measures are pushing mobility companies to reimagine their offerings, and consumers to adapt their behaviors to the ‘new normal’ that is still being defined. The limitations and controls on the movement of people, whether within cities or across continents, are leading to:
- The emergence of solutions providing innovative ways to travel, plan activities or collaborate professionally; and to
- The reshaping the movement of goods, increasingly coming to people’s places.
Other key insights include:
- The pandemic is catalyzing some trends that were already emerging, including the shift to flexible and remote working, leading to changes to the way people travel, as well as innovations in last mile delivery offerings and individual micro-mobility solutions.
- The Mobility sector remained attractive for investors in 2020, with VC funding expected to be in line with 2019: $39bn so far in 2020 with one month to go, vs. $45bn total in 2019. In 2020 the entire sector shifted, leading funds doubling down in promising sectors, such as last-mile delivery solutions, to accommodate the “new normal.” Other sub-sectors, like travel, shifted to longer-term stays, more domestic and increasingly related to remote-work, opening the door for many new opportunities.
- Asia and North America have been the main drivers of the worldwide deal value, with mega-rounds from companies like Waymo, Gojek, WeltMeister or Didi Chuxing
- There are 89 VC-backed mobility unicorns worldwide including Airbnb, DoorDash, Cabify, Rappi, or Grab, with the automotive sector being the most prevalent.
- Most of the exits in the mobility space over the past decade have been driven by Strategic M&A, and there have been 74 IPOs in the space including Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and more.
Since the beginning, White Star Capital has been investing in entrepreneurs who have become mobility leaders, such as Tier Mobility, and are reinventing the way people and goods move across the globe through technological breakthroughs, innovative distribution channels and improved customer experience. We look forward to continuing to invest in the sector’s most promising companies.
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About White Star Capital
White Star Capital is a global multi-stage technology investment platform that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, international businesses. Operating out of New York, London, Paris, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, our presence, perspective, and people enable us to partner closely with our Founders to help them scale internationally from Series A onwards.