SmartRyde, the operator of a pre-booked airport transfer marketplace, has raised approximately JPY 450 million ($3.38 million) in a series A+ funding round.

SmartRyde said in a statement the fund was raised through the third-party allocation of shares led by NVC No.1 Limited Liability Partnership, a fund jointly managed by NVenture Capital Limited and NEC Capital Solutions Limited).

It also saw participation from SMBC Venture Capital, Yamaguchi Capital, Hiroshima Venture Capital, Shigagin Regional Revitalization SD Fund, and Iyogin Capital.

SmartRyde also obtained the subordinated loan from Japan Finance Corporation.

With this funding, SmartRyde said it will invest further in expanding corporate functions and building strengths of business teams as well as in product development.

While partnering with venture capitals of the local banks that participated in the said funding round, SmartRyde intends to increase the number of inbound tourists to Japan by utilizing the over-the-air (OTA) network of the largest scale in the country.

SmartRyde also aims to support domestic taxi operators in the aspect of profitability and to provide them with new value including streamlining and cost reduction.

Meanwhile, SmartRyde has launched a new product “Demand Partner API.”

Online travel agencies (OTAs) and airline companies connected to this API will be able to access the airport transfer network and offer their customers airport transfer services when taking hotel reservations and flight bookings, which is expected to increase their profits.

SmartRyde also noted the establishment of the global distribution system (GDS), an online network that connects travel agencies and other travel-related service providers such as airlines, hotels and car rental agencies around the world.

This system allows their customers to make real-time reservations and enables real-time ticket issuance.

SmartRyde aims to streamline vehicle allocation systems and methods of inventory management that have remained unchanged in the taxi and limousine industry for a long time, and make its product “SmartRyde” a GDS designed for airport transfers that connects OTAs, airlines, etc. and responds to various demands.

SmartRyde is a marketplace that provides pre-booked airport transfer services to over 700 airports in Japan. It provides airport transfer services at each airport.

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