For a brand that prides itself on being the Ultimate Driving Machine, BMW is investing a lot of money in apps and services that enable people to get around without actually driving. After working with car-sharing startup, DriveNow, BMW has now invested in the California-based carpooling startup, Scoop.
Developed by Scoop Technologies, currently based out of the San Francisco Bay area, Scoop pairs people who live near each other as well as work in similar areas to help setup carpooling for them. This could really help commuters in California who couldn’t otherwise use the very convenient carpool lane. I think Scoop is a great app, as it also helps reduce the number of cars on the road, which should help lower the carbon footprint of the automobile. Who am I kidding, I think it’s great because it could help get people out of the way so us enthusiasts can drive faster.
BMW’s venture capitalist arm, i Ventures, invested an undisclosed amount into Scoop, which also recently invested in the ride-hailing service, Summon. It’s interesting that BMW, a brand known for resting its laurels on the way cars actually drive, is so heavily invested in new services that promote less driving. However, it’s actually quite smart because the automotive world is changing and less and less people want to actually own cars, so why not get out in front of it and make money in this new market as well?
It’s a new world and BMW is trying to stay relevant in it, as is every other automaker. Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors are among the many companies that have also invested heavily in startups and services like Scoop. Car sharing and, seemingly now, carpooling are becoming more and more popular among today’s drivers, especially millennials, so BMW wants to get out in front of this massive status quo shift.