SMRT Ventures, Yinson invest in driverless vehicle start-up

A MooVita autonomous vehicle seen in a 2019 file photo. Local autonomous vehicle start-up MooVita is developing a software solution that transforms various vehicle types into autonomous vehicles for different driving conditions and applications.
A MooVita autonomous vehicle seen in a 2019 file photo. Local autonomous vehicle start-up MooVita is developing a software solution that transforms various vehicle types into autonomous vehicles for different driving conditions and applications.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

MooVita, a local autonomous vehicle start-up, has secured a multimillion-dollar investment from SMRT Ventures and Malaysia-listed energy infrastructure and tech firm Yinson Holdings.

SMRT Ventures is the corporate venture arm of transport operator SMRT Corporation that invests in mobility and transport industry companies.

This investment, which is part of MooVita's Series A funding, is expected to accelerate the development and commercialisation of the firm's driverless solutions.

The start-up is developing a software solution that transforms various vehicle types into autonomous vehicles for different driving conditions and applications.

This means it could be used for various purposes, such as logistics and transport.

MooVita co-founder Dilip Limbu, 48, said: "With this injection of capital and business acumen, alongside Yinson and SMRT Ventures, we'll focus on advancing our driverless technologies, building a fleet of driverless shuttle buses and safe on-road operations, and expediting the deployment of MooVita's driverless public transport solutions across Asian urbanscapes, starting with Singapore and Malaysia."

The start-up was formed in 2016. It took part in the Eureka GlobalStars-Singapore innovation call - which fosters cross-border collaboration on research and development projects - in 2019, where it collaborated with Dutch company Sioux Technologies.

MooVita's early investors include Enterprise Singapore's venture arm Seeds Capital and Pioneer unit Pioneer Smart Sensing Innovations Corporation.

The investment is Yinson's first foray into the mobility segment, one of the focus areas of its new unit, Yinson Green Technologies Division.

Mr Eirik Barclay, Yinson's group executive vice-president of new ventures and technology, said this investment is in line with the new unit's ambitions of accelerating the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

"We look forward to working closely with MooVita to develop and roll out technologies that can help mitigate some of the most pressing issues faced by the transportation industry today: road accidents, carbon emissions and traffic congestion," he said.

Several autonomous vehicle trials have been rolled out in Singapore in recent months. In April, testing of driverless electric vehicles began at Singapore Armed Forces sites.

Driverless buses were also deployed at Science Park 2 and on Jurong Island earlier this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2021, with the headline 'SMRT Ventures, Yinson invest in driverless vehicle start-up'. Subscribe