Ann Arbor-Based Enterprise Autonomous Vehicle Company May Mobility Raises $22 Million

By Annie Baker ● February 13, 2019

May Mobility, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based enterprise autonomous transportation company that provides daily transit to the public, has announced it has raised $22 million in Series A funding. New investors Millennium New Horizons and Cyrus Capital Partners co-led this round of funding. LG Technology Ventures and Thayer Ventures participated in this round along with return investors BMW i Ventures, Maven Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, and Y Combinator. This round of funding will be used for expanding their engineering and operations to meet growing demand.

“We – today – provide mobility services that are reliable and safe, on public roads, with a tech stack designed to operate now and ready to scale as the industry and customers are ready,” said May Mobility CEO Edwin Olson. “Our unique technology solves customers’ real-world transportation problems, and we are continuously collecting valuable technical data and market insights while generating revenue in the process. May Mobility is uniquely positioned as the only autonomous vehicle company that’s truly open for business.”

May Mobility is able to deploy its autonomous vehicle in downtown environments by its unique solution. And the vehicles have the ability to learn from each other in the real-world environment. The full-stack technology is currently optimized for fleets of low-speed vehicles and ready to scale when customers demand.

The hardware and software stack built into May Mobility’s vehicles is distinct in its ability to “think” on the road — which can navigate among other cars, bikes, pedestrians, and the rest of what cars encounter on public roads. As every mile is driven, the technology grows smarters.

May Mobility shuttles have six seats and human safety drivers are aboard the vehicles. And the company’s self-driving systems are installed on shuttles based on the Polaris GEM platform.

“Communities throughout the U.S. are struggling to provide convenient and reliable transportation services, and our model is already being deployed to solve real parking, traffic, and land management issues for municipalities, developers, and business customers,” added May Mobility COO Alisyn Malek. “This new round of funding will help us expand existing routes and allow us to serve new partners as we accelerate our growth this year.”

May Mobility’s transportation solution also extends beyond the vehicle that people ride in. So it takes into account the needs of transit agencies or developers and the riders being served along with traffic patterns and route layouts to design dependable and safe solutions. And May Mobility’s operations team handles this and layers in professional oversight and management, which makes the fleets safer.

Plus the company has a cloud-based data platform that gives customers complete visibility into the health of its fleet and runs analytics on ridership and trends. These insights also helps provide the metrics and assurances required for operating on public roads.


Photo: May Mobility

“Millennium has spent the past few years researching the mobility market and May Mobility stands out to be the only company that has delivered a real-world here-and-now transportation solution in a technologically feasible and economically viable manner,” noted Millennium partner Ray Cheng. “Today, May is servicing rides at a cost-per-mile unmatched by any others in the industry. We are excited to partner with May and help the company grow to become an integral part of the future of transportation.”

May Mobility’s commercial services navigates high-density streets of downtown Detroit, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio. And May Mobility will soon launch its public services in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Providence, Rhode Island soon.

As the company expands, May Mobility is going to further develop its technical expertise and service knowledge by meeting a different set of mobility needs. May Mobility is going to also announce additional commercial deployments in cities across the U.S. later this year.

“Simply put, we believe that the future of urban transportation is shared, electric, and autonomous,” explained Repower Group (a Cyrus Capital affiliate that is co-leading the current finance round) co-founder Benjamin Birnbaum. “May Mobility has a uniquely talented team, a scalable operating model, and is already solving mission critical challenges for its customer base that meet this vision.”

May Mobility’s shuttles in Detroit linked the parking garages and the Bedrock offices — which is a real estate firm owned by Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. And in Rhode Island, May Mobility’s shuttles will be running their longest routes (a 3-mile loop connecting an Amtrak train station in downtown Providence to Olneyville Square), according to Auto News.

The rides in Providence are available to the public and it is free. The state of Rhode Island is paying $800,000 for one year of May Mobility, of which $500,000 will be from a settlement over Volkswagen’s emissions test scandal.