Staying relevant in the automotive industry seems increasingly tied to the ride-sharing industry, and now, Volkswagen Group has become the latest to join the foray. On Tuesday, the German automobile company announced a $300 million strategic investment in Gett, the on-demand transportation service with a significant presence in Europe.
It’s a trendy move as of late, with General Motors announcing a similar investment in Lyft earlier this year, and Uber partnering with a major Chinese automaker back in 2015. According to Volkswagen, the decision comes “as part of its strategy to generate a substantial share of its future sales revenue from new business models focused on mobility services.”
While Gett has an office in New York, the black car service is most popular overseas, and is available in over 60 cities across the globe. In London, the service has seen particular success, with over half of all black cabs operated by the transportation startup.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Volkswagen Group, the No. 1 global car manufacturer,” said Gett founder and CEO Shahar Waiser in a statement. “With VW’s investment, Gett will now accelerate its expansion to the rest of Europe, and strengthen its position in NYC, where we already operate.”
For its part, Volkswagen has clearly taken note of the need to expand its market, and in particular, the opportunity made available by on-demand mobility.
“Alongside our pioneering role in the automotive business, we aim to become a world leading mobility provider by 2025,” said Matthias Müller, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. “Within the framework of our future Strategy 2025, the partnership with Gett marks the first milestone for the Volkswagen Group on the road to providing integrated mobility solutions that spotlight our customers and their mobility needs.”
Gett certainly isn’t staying in its original lane either, taking a page out of Uber’s book and adding delivery services for things like pizza and champagne. And in London, you can also use Gett to make deliveries of your own.
“The Volkswagen Group and Gett is a great strategic partnership,” Waiser concluded. “The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses.”