On-demand mobility venture SWAT raises US$10 million in Series A funding round to expand into new Asian markets and grow tech capabilities
Singapore - Ministry of Movement Pte. Ltd. (SWAT) is an on-demand transport technology startup that pools passengers in high-capacity vehicles, routing them optimally to offer the highest utilisation rates and service levels. In closing its Series A funding, SWAT has seen strong interest totalling US$10.1m, in a round led by The University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) 4 Limited Partnership with participation from 7 other investors.
SWAT plans to use the funds to grow and expand overseas. This investment will allow the company to traverse new business verticals and increase its prominence as an intelligent transport technology provider in the region. SWAT is set to launch projects in Japan, China, the Philippines and Indonesia by the first half of 2020. As part of its expansion, SWAT also plans to support the growth of its commercial operations by boosting internal tech, data and engineering teams, streamlining operations and increasing marketing activities.
“SWAT is focused on providing efficient transport for commuters through ride pooling in high-capacity vehicles. We see a need for such shared transport, especially in areas where the transport system has not caught up with rapid urbanisation and have high population density. Our solutions are designed to improve connectivity and reduce congestion within cities. We are extremely thankful for the support our investors have given us, along with the opportunity to make a difference, not just for the commuters but also to the environment,” said Mr. Jarrold Ong, Co-founder and CEO of SWAT.
The company currently provides on-demand employee transportation for large corporations and industrial parks with operations in Singapore and Vietnam. It also operates an on-demand public bus service in Australia, providing first/last-mile connection from North-West Sydney to the new Sydney Metro. Earlier this year, SWAT conducted the Singapore Land Transport Authority’s public on-demand bus trials. On the technology front, SWAT currently holds several top positions in the Li & Lim benchmark that measures the efficiency of pickup and delivery within a given time frame.
SWAT differs from ride-hailing services most people are familiar with, in that its algorithm allows for ride-sharing, or essentially car-pooling, in vehicles of varying passenger capacity. When dealing with large volumes of passengers living in different areas, the technology to optimise the routes and bus fleet size is very complex. In one client’s case, SWAT’s technology picks up about 1600 employees from close to their home and sends them directly to their workplace.
Lead investor UTEC is excited to support SWAT as the company expands in the region, enhancing transportation services while delivering quality experiences to commuters with its dynamic pooling and routing capabilities.
“We are impressed by what the team has achieved to date in the urban mobility and employee transport space, and look forward to helping SWAT bring its technology and service to more areas. Japan especially is ready for this change,”
said Mr. Ted Yamamoto, Partner and Board Director, UTEC.
The other participants in SWAT’s Series A funding round include new investors SMRT Momentum Ventures, ComfortDelGro Ventures, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) New Ventures, EDB Investments, and LKJ Capital Japan. Pre-Series A investors iGlobe Platinum Fund II Pte. Ltd. and the Goldbell Group family office reinvested in this round.
Goldbell Group is a market leader in the vehicle leasing and distribution business with a vision to be at the forefront of the mobility space, undertaking numerous innovation initiatives including the creation of new corporate ventures such as SWAT. Mr. Beh Kian Teik, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board, shared, “EDB New Ventures is excited to work with SWAT in its Singapore expansion and regional growth, in support for Goldbell’s corporate venturing efforts. This aligns well with Singapore’s strategy to build future global businesses with our corporate partners. The SWAT team has made significant strides since its launch and is a great addition to the vibrant mobility ecosystem in Singapore.”
About Ministry of Movement Pte. Ltd. (SWAT)
SWAT is a smart mobility startup that focuses on demand-responsive and ride-sharing technology in high capacity vehicles. We believe that efficient transport is a fundamental right, and that our core mobility engine can improve the way we commute, ease congestion and improve our quality of life.
Founded in September 2015, SWAT launched Asia’s first ever dynamic on-demand bus service in Singapore the following year. In addition, SWAT has solutions for employee transport, first mile/last mile connectivity, and our technology is autonomous vehicle ready. SWAT’s integrated products optimise public and corporate transportation for industrial parks, overnight shift workers, non-emergency medical transport, and more.
Behind the scenes, SWAT’s algorithm quickly computes efficient shared rides, directs buses and their drivers, and ensures passengers reach their destinations quickly. Our algorithm currently holds several records in global benchmarking use cases. To date, SWAT has computed and completed more than 350 million routes for commuters and 540,000 dynamically routed rides worldwide for commuters. The company is currently based in Singapore, with operations in Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia.