Zum, a student transportation services company, has announced a $140 million Series E funding round led by GIC, a global investment firm.
This new capital will be utilized to accelerate the expansion of Zum’s AI-driven technology platform and advance the company’s efforts to fully decarbonize the school bus industry. When combined with fully EV school bus fleets, Zum will turn the bus batteries – which are 4-6 times larger than EV car batteries – into virtual power plants through its Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology.
This technology will reveal optimal times for discharging and recharging EV school buses – meaning buses that would otherwise be sitting idle at bus depots can now send energy back to the grid for peak demand times – including evenings and during the summer.
“Zum is on a mission to revolutionize student transportation, moving beyond the status quo towards a future where innovative technologies are used to advance sustainability efforts,” said Zum Founder and CEO Ritu Narayan. “This investment marks a pivotal moment in our journey, empowering us to turn school buses into powerful tools for environmental change.”
Along with the V2G capabilities, the AI technology will also allow schools to increase efficiency and reduce the costs of managing student transportation fleets by increasing visibility so schools can optimize routes.
Route optimization is a critical component because optimized routes mean less time on the road and more capacity to transfer energy back to the grid.