Urbvan Raises the Bar for Transport in Mexico and Lays Out Expansion Plans in Latin America

With an initial Urbvan investment of USD $800,000 and USD $9 million in subsequent financing, it plans to expand in Latin American cities.
Urbvan-Mexico Urbvan-Mexico

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The Mexican startup Urbvan has surfaced with a solution in the shared transport niche called “Vanpooling.” Founded by Renato Picard and Joao Matos, Urbvan provides a transportation alternative that, while slightly more expensive than public transit, offers comforts such as WiFi, comfortable seating, and professional drivers.

Starting with an initial investment of USD $800,000 from funds like Mountain Naza and DILA Capital, the company kicked off a pilot test in November with just five vehicles, surpassing expectations and leading them to expand their fleet. By the end of 2019, they had successfully secured USD $9 million in financing, led by Kaszek Ventures and Angel Ventures.

The rise in urbanization is a key factor driving the growth of the shared transportation market. The total population in Latin America is expected to exceed 660 million people, with 82% living in urban areas.

This rapid growth in urbanization has led to issues such as poor city planning and limited mobility options. These challenges have caused people to increasingly rely on cars as their primary mode of transport, thereby benefiting the shared transport market across the region, including Mexico. For instance, Uber has established a firm foothold, covering more than 85% of the large cities in Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay.

Main mobility players in Mexico.
Main mobility players in Mexico. (Source: Mordor Intelligence)

Although Urbvan currently only operates in Mexico City, they have medium-term plans to extend their reach to other Latin American cities with challenging traffic conditions, such as Bogotá, Sao Paulo, Lima, and Santiago.

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Mexican shared ride market is expected to see a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% from 2021 to 2026.

Growth forecast for mobile apps in Mexico.
Growth forecast for mobile apps in Mexico. (Source: Mordor Intelligence)

This growth is partly attributed to the surge in urbanization, which favors the shared transport market. Like other similar platforms, Urbvan gains from increased user adoption and engagement, which in turn enhances the value for existing drivers and passengers, thanks to perks like real-time route tracking and electronic payments.

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