© Saskia Uppenkamp
Daniel Ramot (Co-founder, CEO)

Location: Once a center for the textile industry, SoHo was in such a poor state by the 1950s that it was dubbed ‘Hell’s Hundred Acres’. But then artists flocked in, attracted by large and bright lofts in the cast iron factory buildings. Gentrification followed, making it the hip, buzzy district it is today.

Via – Smarter shared rides

Founded in 2012
135 employees
Funding $137M / 3 rounds

Via is re-engineering public transit – from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle. Targeting the gap between outdated public transit and expensive luxury car services, the Via platform currently operates in New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC, has provided more than seven million rides, and is growing rapidly. Founded in 2012 by Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, who previously led engineering projects for the Israeli Air Force and have PhDs in neuroscience and systems biology from Stanford University and the Weizmann Institute of Science, respectively, the idea for Via came from Israel, where many people rely on shared vehicles called sheruts to travel quickly, cheaply and easily along major streets.

This article was published in “the Hundert Vol. 9 – Startups of New York“, December 2016.