Masabi, the developer of mobile ticketing technology for the transport sector, today announced it has secured $2 million from m8 Capital, the specialist mobile technology venture capital fund.
The investment will be used to support commercial deployments of Masabi's mobile ticketing systems with UK rail companies and to expand operations into other geographies.
Masabi's "Ticket Machine in your Pocket" technology allows secure, usable ticket purchase and display on the majority of common mobile phone handsets, as well as high-end smartphones.
The company is already working with customers including Atos Origin and thetrainline.com, with the first consumer launches due in the coming months.
"As a fund investing exclusively in mobile technology, we love innovations that have mass market appeal and can improve the way we do everyday things. Masabi's technology has the potential to remove all the inconvenience and hassle of buying a train ticket," said Joseph Kim, Partner at m8 Capital. "From day one, we were impressed by Masabi's groundbreaking technology. But we were just as impressed by Masabi's success in aligning with the various stakeholders in the UK rail industry."
"There is a clear opportunity for mobile applications to revolutionise the transport ticketing market. We have demonstrated that even everyday phones are capable of supporting secure and compelling ticketing applications and are already working on major launches set for later this year," commented Ben Whitaker, CEO of Masabi. "This funding and m8 Capital's considerable experience in mobile technology will greatly help to scale our operations, and accelerate the roll-outs of mobile ticketing systems across the UK and beyond."
While it has been possible to purchase train tickets online for some time, most tickets are still bought at the station where long queues can be a problem, particularly at peak travel times. Masabi's solution enables tickets to be bought on almost any mobile phone whilst on the move, and is designed to be easy to use, even for those who have never used a mobile application before. The application allows commuters to use their phone to search, select and securely purchase tickets using a credit or debit card. Tickets can either be displayed on the phone's screen via secure barcode technology, or traditional printed tickets can be picked up from the train station. Rail operators have already commenced the rollout of barcode scanners on trains and at stations, with several major routes expected to be fully covered by the end of the year.