Telco Networks to Unlock Data on Urban Human Mobility

Telco Networks to Unlock Data on Urban Human Mobility

August 7, 2019

Robert Bosch Venture Capital, the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group, is leading a USD 17.5 million investment in Teralytics, a Swiss software company that provides advanced mobility analytics powered by telco network data.

Teralytics claims it uses proprietary artificial intelligence to extrapolate insights, anonymized and aggregated, to enable customers such as mobility providers, cities and transport services to understand, predict and improve people’s journeys.

Together with RBVC, other strategic and financial investors participating in the round include Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, innogy Ventures, LBBW Venture Capital, Liil Ventures, alongside existing investors Atomico and Lakestar.

The leadership team consists of entrepreneurs, engineers and industry veterans with backgrounds from a wide range of technical disciplines, and with strong professional and academic credentials from blue- global blue chip brands and reputable universities.

The funding follows a period of growing commercial traction and expansion into more than ten countries. With the support of RBVC and other strategic investors, Teralytics says it plans to grow globally to cover more than one billion people’s journeys and become a global marketplace for mobility insights.

A study by MarketsandMarkets on the “Transportation Systems and Analytics Market” estimates this market at USD 57.46 billion in 2018, at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.4 percent from 2013 to 2018.

RBVC Managing Director Dr. Ingo Ramesohl says the investment reflects the pace of change in urban transport.

“As a leading provider of mobility solutions, we are excited to welcome Teralytics to our portfolio”, “The way people move changes rapidly and we look forward to shaping it together with Teralytics,” says Dr Ramesohl.

Due to the growing population and the trend in increasing urbanization, mobility flows in cities are changing and new modes of transportation such as ride-sharing, bike-sharing and e-scooters are appearing.

According to Teralytics CEO Alastair MacLeod, cities are striving to understand how new technologies and services impact their residents, with little or no valid data to base critical planning and operational decisions on. As the concepts of private car ownership or scheduled transportation give way to mobility-on-demand, these dynamics will accelerate, generating ever more complex questions requiring data to solve them.

“Simply throwing new modes of transportation at challenges such as congestion, traffic safety, crowded public transportation and long wait times, without a thorough understanding of how all people travel, is not delivering the desired results. There is a need for unbiased, all-encompassing insights into people’s journeys across all modes of transportation, in real-time. Human mobility is changing beyond recognition. The next ten years will bring a seismic shift in mobility technologies, comparable to the impact that transistor and personal computer advancements had on miniaturization and digitalization,” says MacLeod.

To meet this need, Zurich based Teralytics, with offices in New York and Singapore, partners with telecom network operators to solve the challenge of understanding human mobility on population scale with the most accurate indicator of people’s movement – their mobile devices.

“It is the one thing everyone has with them at all times,” says MacLeod.

Until now, cities and mobility services have been designed based on assumptions of how public authorities and private companies expect people to move. But, they aren’t taking the journeys of the whole population into consideration. As a result, for many, mobility is limited. Not just physically, but socially and economically. According to MacLeod, it’s preventing people from reaching their full potential; ineffective transport services can be the difference between a job not taken and a family life compromised.

In addition, due to its complexity and scale, mobile network data has been nearly impossible to understand or utilize. Teralytics claims it has pioneered a way to translate this data into actionable insights.

According to MacLeod, Teralytics receives anonymized cell tower signal data and turns them into aggregated mobility behavior of groups of people, thereby being fully compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Teralytics is developing global mobility insights and analytics solutions to better understand how people travel and how new modes of transportation affect the entire transport network.

(Ed. Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) is the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group, a global supplier of technology and services. RBVC invests worldwide in start-up tech companies in areas of automation and electrification, energy efficiency, enabling technologies, and healthcare systems. Featured image courtesy of Robert Bosch Venture Capital.)

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