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What does the next generation of urban mobility look like?

From autonomous vehicles to electric scooters, companies across the urban mobility landscape are trying to create a greener, more sustainable future—and venture capital is helping fuel the way.

Traffic jams, expensive parking and polluted air—these are a few of the problems city residents face regularly; it’s part of living in a highly populated urban area. Or, does it have to be?

Private companies are increasingly turning their focus to the future of mobility—developing solutions for more accessible, environmentally friendly, efficient and low-cost transportation options—with venture capital fueling the way.

What is urban mobility?

Urban mobility goes beyond the meaning of a single trip from Point A to Point B. It is often seen as an integrated system of mobility solutions that work together to solve the needs of a city’s infrastructure—typically leveraging companies and emerging technologies within the mobility tech space.

What is mobility tech?

Mobility tech is an emerging technology vertical that includes companies that provide technologies and services that are disrupting the transportation, automotive and shipping industries. The digital economy, mobile connectivity, electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies are driving new business opportunities to provide transportation solutions that are lower cost and more convenient for consumers and businesses. Segments within this vertical include autonomous vehicles, ridesharing, carsharing, micro-mobility, last-mile delivery, fleet management, electric vehicles and more.

Every year since 2017, VC investments into mobility tech companies have surpassed $20 billion. In 2020 alone, nearly $42 billion was raised for companies in mobility technology, according to PitchBook’s data.

See what the next generation of urban mobility looks like in our interactive graphic below.
Click on the bicycles to get started.

Segments in mobility tech

  • Autonomous vehicles definition and examples
    Also known as self-driving or driverless cars, autonomous vehicle companies develop street-legal vehicles that can sense their environment and navigate without human interaction. Includes related technology, which is based on radar, lidar, GPS, odometry, software and computer vision. Examples of autonomous driving technology include Tesla, Waymo, Cruise and Mobileye.
  • Ridesharing definition and examples
    The hailing of a ride via app or platform, usually met by a private vehicle and sometimes a taxi. Though “sharing” is in the name, this definition isn’t restricted to pool rides or lines where passengers from different parties ride together. The term also encompasses private rides, which consists of a driver and one-trip party only. Examples of ridesharing companies include Uber, Lyft, Grab and Didi Chuxing.

  • Carsharing definition and examples
    A model of car rental whereby people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. The act of renting usually takes place via a mobile application. Examples include Zipcar, ShareNow (formerly Car2go), Getaround and Turo.
  • Micro-mobility definition and examples
    Micro-mobility is a type of transportation solution that targets the “last mile” problem, where users have difficulting getting from their starting destination to a major transportation hub such as bus or railway station. Distances covered by these solutions typically average less than six miles, which bicycles and scooters being the most prevalent form of transportation. Examples of micro-mobility companies are Lime, Jump, Mobike and Bird.
  • Last-mile delivery definition and examples
    Last-mile delivery is a service focused on the logistics of moving products to their final delivery destinations, usually from a transportation hub to the residence of the person who ordered the item. Examples of last-mile delivery companies include 3PD, Onfleet, iMile and Milkman.
  • Fleet management definition and examples
    Fleet management is an organizational and administrative approach for companies to coordinate work vehicles to reduce inefficiencies and costs. Examples of fleet management software includes Fleetio, Zitara, Truck IT App and Keking.
  • Electric vehicles definition and examples
    Electric vehicles (EV) or cars are vehicles that are powered by an electric motor, which use rechargeable batteries to run. It is an alternative to gas-powered vehicles. Examples of electric vehicle companies include Tesla, Cruise, Lucid Motors and Rivian Automotive.

The consumer shift—and resource allocation—toward sustainable products and services is only expected to increase over time. At the same time, the private markets are exploding with value as investors flood the space and fund more companies. Getting in front of these deals now could mean unlocking valuable opportunities in the industry.

To learn more about venture capital, private equity and where your business can capitalize, read our article that breaks it all down: Subsets of the private markets, why they’re valuable and where you can get involved

Learn more about mobility trends and companies

Mobility tech investment trends by segment
Download this report: Emerging Tech Research: Mobility

Overview of the emerging SPAC trend in mobility
Download this analyst note: The EV/Mobility SPAC Handbook

On the podcast: Hear from industry professionals
Listen to our 30-min podcast episode: Cities as stakeholders in mobility