​Moovit eyes Brazil growth

Public transport app wants to widen its local footprint following new funding round

Public transport information app Moovit is looking to plough more cash into substantially growing its presence in Brazil.

The company has just secured $50m in a C-series funding round led by Nokia Growth Partners, which also had the participation of BMW iVentures, Keolis, Sequoia Capital, Bernard Arnault Group, Vaizra Investments, BRM Group and Gemini Partners.

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The new money will go towards the global expansion of the Israeli company, particularly in Asia. But Brazil remains Moovit's biggest market, so a key goal for 2015 is to double its user base in the country, currently at about three million users across 28 cities.

Moovit, the "Waze of public transport," is fed with official public transport data and information provided by users about the services they ride, such as whether a bus is late, what its stops are, and what its routes are.

User contributions are key to the service, given the difficulty accessing the information on public transport handled by local authorities.

In Brazil, Moovit's operation is led by Pedro Palhares, a former technical advisor at the transport department of Rio de Janeiro's city government.