bp ventures have invested $6 million in all-electric ride-hailing business Freebee, a Miami-based company that provides free, on-demand transportation to local communities through their mobile app Ride Freebee. bp led the business’s $8 million Series A funding round, with support from Freebee’s current infrastructure capital partner, Tensile Mobility.
Freebee’s free-to-the-user trips are financed through local governments as part of municipalities’ public transport networks and also by private entities such as corporate business parks, hotels and resorts, and university campuses.
Freebee has established itself as a premier mobility platform in the state of Florida and seeks to address the many issues arising from the increased use of personal vehicles in the US, like traffic congestion and increased carbon emissions.
Freebee owns a fleet of more than 150 electric vehicles (EVs) and employs more than 230 drivers on a full-time basis. This investment will help Freebee boost its technology development capacity and expand the team, helping to scale the business across the US.
The service is currently available in more than 25 municipalities and campuses in Florida and Virginia, with Freebee targeting expansion into seven new cities in the two states before the end of 2022. The expansion is expected to help the business move over one million passengers by the end of the year.
As well as leading the funding round, bp will also work with Freebee on scaling the business across the US and will explore opportunities to collaborate on the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure, progressing bp’s mobility growth engine.
This ongoing expansion is good news for those using Freebee’s services and helps to promote the use of clean and green electric public transport. Plus, the use of buses will also help to relieve congestion by getting people out of their cars.
Shaun Healey, principal at bp ventures, said: “bp ventures invests in companies that align with bp’s ambition to be net zero by 2050 or sooner. The team at Freebee has come up with a brilliant business idea that incentivises travel by electric vehicles without any cost to the user.
“We are very proud to have made our first investment in Miami’s thriving tech sector and look forward to getting started with the team.”
Kris Kimball, Freebee co-founder and managing partner, added: “Living in Miami as a student, my co-founder Jason Spiegel and I felt there must be a more economical way of getting around the city.
“With Freebee we have turned ride-hailing on its head, providing a service that is accelerating the decarbonisation of mobility and is free to users. This investment from bp ventures is an endorsement of our idea and together we will roll Freebee out across the US.”
Jason Spiegel, Freebee co-founder and managing partner, said: “We are really excited at the opportunity to partner with bp ventures, which shares many of the same values that Freebee seeks to spread in our communities each day.
“Our goal is to accelerate our growth and continue executing our mission of providing equitable and accessible transportation, which in turn helps drive economic development and stimulates the local economies.”
Shaun Healey, principal at bp ventures, will join the Freebee board, along with Dabo Horsfall, CEO of Tensile Mobility. To date, bp ventures have invested almost $1 billion in more than 40 active investments across seven geographies.