Masabi Secures Funding, Opens New York Office and Hires VP

Masabi, a mobile ticketing and agile fare collection business, has secured $2.8 million in funding from Detroit-based Fontinalis Partners, London-based MMC Ventures and existing investor m8 Capital. The company has also opened a New York office and has hired Josh Robin as vice president of strategy and business development for North American operations.

PRESS RELEASE

Masabi, the leader in transit mobile ticketing and agile fare collection, announced today that it has secured $2.8 million in funding from Detroit-based Fontinalis Partners, a strategic investment firm focused exclusively on next-generation mobility companies – and London-based MMC Ventures and existing investor m8 Capital – to accelerate U.S. transit agency deployments. The company also today announced the opening of its New York office and the hiring of transit industry innovator Josh Robin as VP of Strategy and Business Development for North American operations.

“Masabi’s partnership-based approach to implementing agile fare collection means that transit agencies can have a revolutionary mobile ticketing system in months, not years, as we have shown with the MBTA in Boston. Because Masabi takes on the risk of delivering the new service on-time and on-budget, we only succeed when the agency succeeds,” said Ben Whitaker, CEO of Masabi.

William Clay Ford, Jr. (“Bill Ford”), a Founding Partner of Fontinalis Partners, added: “Masabi’s technology allows transit agencies to revolutionize the customer experience at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. This capability aligns well with emerging trends and Masabi is well positioned to make a positive impact on mobility, both in the U.S. and abroad.”

Masabi’s JustRide product is a cloud-based, transit proven, rapidly deployable, end-to-end mobile ticketing and fare collection system with award winning mobile apps for ticket purchase, use, and ticket agent validation. The solution allows transit agencies to revolutionize riding transit by allowing customers to purchase tickets without needing to wait in line. Masabi’s technology also means that transit agencies can now launch mobile ticketing for a significantly lower capital investment than traditional fare collection systems.

Masabi already processes more than $50 million in ticket sales per year across its systems world-wide and continues to see strong growth. In November 2012, the company launched the U.S.’s first system-wide deployment of mobile ticketing for Boston’s MBTA. Unlike a traditional fare collection system which would have taken years of development and cost an estimated $70 million, Masabi was able to deploy its JustRide system in just seven months and at minimal cost to the MBTA. In the four months since launch, it has processed $3 million in transactions, accounting for more than 10% of ticket sales.

“The appetite for mobile ticketing among U.S. transit operators and riders has taken off in the last 12 months. Masabi’s successful launch in Boston, coupled with rapid customer adoption, positions the company well as other agencies begin procuring to replicate this success. We are delighted to welcome the backing of Fontinalis and MMC as Masabi continues to revolutionize the transit industry,” said Joseph Kim, General Partner at m8 Capital and Chairman of Masabi.

“Mobile is transforming the transit industry, saving agencies time and money while at the same time improving the everyday life of millions of passengers,” said Rory Stirling, Investment Director at MMC Ventures. “Masabi is the leader both in developing this mobile ticketing technology and bringing it to market, and we are proud to be supporting them in this period of rapid expansion.”

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About Masabi
Masabi is the transit mobile ticketing pioneer, delivering end-to-end systems to agencies that bring significant cost savings and enhanced customer experience. Masabi’s JustRide system was first deployed in the U.S. by Boston’s MBTA in late 2012, and it signals the end of ticket lines, lost tickets and cash fares by allowing passengers to quickly and securely buy and display tickets on their mobile phones. Masabi enables transit agencies to move away from capital intensive ’locked-in” systems, such as smartcards and costly ticket machines, to a flexible, open system that transforms passengers’ travel experience today, with a roadmap to NFC and open payments in the future.

Masabi is backed by Fontinalis Partners, m8 Capital and MMC Ventures. The company’s scalable cloud-based technology already processes millions of dollars every week, handles millions of connections per day, and is in use by more than 13 UK transit agencies and retail brands, including: Virgin Trains, First Group, CrossCountry Trains and thetrainline.com.

About Fontinalis Partners
Fontinalis Partners, with offices in Detroit and Boston, is a leading next-generation mobility strategic investment firm founded by Bill Ford, Ralph Booth, Mark Schulz, Chris Cheever and Chris Thomas. Fontinalis’ mission is to leverage the firm’s considerable management experience, market access, strategic relationships, international expertise, and background in transportation innovation to scale companies providing next-generation mobility solutions. Fontinalis Partners invests as a strategic partner across all facets of the world’s mobility systems on a stage-, structure- and size-agnostic basis. Fontinalis Partners is not affiliated with Ford Motor Company.

About m8 Capital
m8 Capital invests exclusively in mobile technology. Mobile technology is changing everything we do. Mobile technology is enabling services, products and information to be more pervasive, more relevant, and more convenient. m8 Capital supports entrepreneurs and companies that are positioning themselves to be at the forefront of all things mobile. Previous investments include: Rummble Labs, German mobile engineering automation firm SCHAD; mobile and social game publisher, Portalarium; and Aylus Networks, the U.S.-based enabler of video communication services over mobile networks.

About MMC Ventures
Founded in 2000, MMC Ventures is an active investor and award-winning venture fund manager, focused on technology-enabled sectors where the UK is a world leader -particularly financial and business services, business software, digital media and e-commerce. With circa £90 million under management, MMC invests around £10 million per annum in a combination of new investments and add-on capital for existing portfolio companies. MMC specialises in fast-growth early-stage UK-based businesses, partnering with entrepreneurs and impressive management teams to achieve substantial scale and profitability. MMC’s existing portfolio includes AlexandAlexa, Base79, Interactive Investor, Knowledge Mill, LoveHomeSwap and Reevoo.