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Transit Tech Firm Optibus Raises $100M, Becomes a ‘Unicorn’

The Israel-based company has raised $260 million in total, with new funding coming amid a product release and international expansion. Earlier this year, Optibus increased its North American footprint via acquisition.

Optibus, an Israel-based mass transit technology provider, has closed a $100 million Series D funding round and hit “unicorn” status — an absolute rarity in gov tech.

The company reported that its valuation has reached $1.3 billion — startups with valuations of $1 billion are called unicorns — and Optibus says it is the first public transportation firm to earn that badge. The software-as-a-service company launched in 2014.

Optibus has raised $260 million in total.

The new funding round included Insight Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Verizon Ventures, Pitango First and Pitango Growth, Tencent, SOMV Momentum and others.

“Optibus has modernized the industry and helped cities around the world bring quality and reliable transportation to their residents,” said Teddie Wardi, managing director at Insight Partners, in the statement. “We look forward to working with Optibus as they continue to grow and scale up.”

The new funding and status comes at a busy time for Optibus.

The company is touting a new analytics tool called Ridership Insights designed to give clients more precise information about various aspects of transit, including data related to routes, boarding and route planning. The technology helps transit planners view ridership KPIs via various filters.

Optibus also said it plans to expand into new areas such as real-time operations and electric vehicle management.

Beyond that, Optibus has ambitions to build a larger global footprint, a message it repeated in its statement about the new funding when the company said it expects to “strengthen its global presence in existing and new markets.”

For instance, in April Optibus bought Oregon-based Trillium, whose software provides real-time transportation data and related services. That company launched in 2007 and serves hundreds of transit agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

“Optibus is proud to be the first unicorn dedicated to public transportation, which is at the core of a healthy and equitable society,” said Optibus CEO and co-founder Amos Haggiag in the statement. “Our investors and employees see the double promise of Optibus to generate both social good and ROI, and we are thrilled to lead the industry’s digital transformation.”