Does the Collapse of Maas Global and the Whim Travel App Signify the End for MaaS?

  • Date: 03/22/2024

MaaS is here to stay as an integral part of multimodal urban mobility but will require a rethink on business model, financial and operational strategies.

Finnish mobility startup, Maas Global, and creator of the pioneering travel app Whim, has filed for bankruptcy one year short of its 10th anniversary. Founded in 2015, the groundbreaking commercial Mobility as a Service (MaaS) operator launched Whim two years later in 2017. Whim was touted as“the first all-inclusive MaaS solution commercially available on the market that gives its users all urban transport services in one step, letting them journey where and when they want with public transport, taxis, bikes, cars, and other options, all under a single subscription.”

On paper, the idea of an integrated, multimodal solution for urban transport covering planning, booking, and payments on a single platform seemed ideal. At one point, Whim had around 10,000 active monthly users in Helsinki alone, attracted over €149 million in investments from Toyota, Mitsubishi and BP Ventures, had an active presence in Tokyo, Vienna, Birmingham, Antwerp, and Helsinki, among other cities, and employed more than 100+ people. By 2022, the company was battling for survival – with severe attrition bringing the workforce to under 30 people and losses amounting to €9.3 million.

So, what went wrong?

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