Venture Capital News: Zum Grabs Additional $40M
REDWOOD CITY, CA, Zum, the leading logistics platform for safe and reliable rides for school districts and busy families, today announced it has received $40 million in Series C funding.
This brings the company's total funding to $67 million. BMW i Ventures is leading the round with participation from new investors NGP Capital, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Clearvision, Draper Nexus and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Spark Capital. Zūm has seen exponential growth as it now serves metropolitan areas that make up 80 percent of California's population, saving school districts significant money on their already tight budgets.
Zūm will be using the new funding to grow its proven business model and increase school partnerships throughout the country. In 2019, Zūm will expand to serve markets beyond California with a goal to double its footprint by 2020. The company will also continue the development of its proprietary technology platform for addressing all school transportation needs. The company's state-of-the-art route optimization engine and vehicle tracking ensure enhanced safety and efficiency for riders, and its real-time dashboards mean school districts have full visibility into every child's ride from start to finish.
Schools across the nation spend more than $23 billion a year on student transportation, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Zūm provides on-demand student transportation using cars and vans owned and driven by highly-vetted drivers, allowing schools to customize and scale their transportation options as needed. Investors and school districts are seeing the opportunity for Zūm to solve a major problem with an innovative new solution.
"Zūm has proven itself as a force to be reckoned with in a market that has a lot of untapped opportunity," said Ulrich Quay, managing partner at BMW i Ventures. "Its leadership is strong not only because of their drive to help working families, but because they themselves have families and understand the need for better child transportation today. We're proud to be supporting Zūm and look forward to seeing its momentum as it continues driving funds back into schools."
Zūm's increasing growth is a result of partnering with more than 150 new school districts in 2018 to support transportation needs including commuting, athletics, field trips and after-school activities. The company, which celebrated its fourth anniversary this month, currently transports children to more than 2,000 public, private and charter schools, with a collective 750,000 students in attendance. Zūm now operates in over 400 cities and towns throughout the country and has hired senior management talent from Silicon Valley giants Uber, Amazon and Google.
"I'm honored to gain the support of our incredible investors who believe in what Zūm does, and our mission to build the world's largest and safest transportation service for children," says Ritu Narayan, founder and CEO of Zūm, a mother of two and immigrant from India.
"Zūm is addressing economic and lifestyle gaps for families and school districts by reinventing child transportation and care," said Bryan Schreier, partner at Sequoia Capital. "We're excited to continue our partnership with Ritu and her team as they scale Zūm's platform to school districts around the country, enabling communities to reinvest transportation costs in things like teachers, technology and curriculum."
Schools and school districts see large-scale benefits when using Zūm as their primary student transportation provider. By partnering with Zūm, schools are given access to the platform's real-time tracking and dashboard technology, which calculates more efficient routes for schools. Plus, the use of right-sized vehicles means schools no longer have to deploy buses full of empty seats to accommodate just a few students. Overall, the service reduces the average student commute time by 20 percent and school partners have seen an average transportation savings of 40 percent. Schools are now able to push these funds back into critical areas like classwork, extracurricular activities and teacher resources.
"A better school transportation solution creates a ripple effect benefiting students, parents and administrators," said Paula Wessels, assistant to chief student support services of Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District. "With Zūm, we save 45 percent on transportation costs. Our students spend less time commuting and enjoy a transportation experience that helps them to arrive at school both more engaged and ready to learn."
Zūm is the leading provider of safe, efficient and reliable child transportation for school districts and busy families. Zūm saves schools money and parents time by providing flexible transportation options through its network of highly vetted drivers and advanced scheduling, routing and tracking technology. Founded in 2015 by Stanford and eBay alums, Zūm is backed by leading venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital and BMW i Ventures. The company is headquartered in Redwood City, California. For more information, visit www.ridezum.com.
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