BP Ventures, the investment arm of oil and gas giant BP, has announced a € 10 million (~ $ 11.9 million) investment in Ryd, a German digital payments provider for cars. The new funds will help Ryd expand its service to international markets and develop its offering, according to a statement.
Ryd’s service allows users to bundle online payments for services like fuel purchases, EV charging, and car wash through the startup’s app or integration with smart car systems. BP already offers digital payment options in the UK and the Netherlands through its BPme app. As part of its investment and partnership with Ryd, the legacy company hopes to expand its digital offerings as it learns of the startup’s secure and flexible digital payment options. Ryd will gain the benefit of scaling its technology to BP customers across Europe.
“In-car digital payments are an integral part of the seamless and convenient experience customers increasingly expect at our retail sites,” said Alex Jensen, bp’s senior vice president of mobility and convenience for Europe and South Africa, at a statement. “Ryd’s technology can help deliver just that and for an ever-expanding range of services.”
This isn’t the first bet BP is making in the smart vehicle space, and it probably won’t be the last. In June, the firm also invested $ 7 million in IoTecha, a smart electric vehicle charging company that connects chargers to the grid using IoT and automates charge payments. Strategic investments like these ultimately add to BP Ventures Ecosystem which is designed to help BP reinvent itself as an integrated energy company, as well as to help it reduce its carbon footprint.
Ryd is already accepted today at 3,000 partner service stations in seven countries, according to the company. It has 1.4 million direct customers, as well as access to up to 100 million additional customers through its partnerships with Mastercard and various automakers. The connected car data market is expected to reach $ 19 billion globally by 2030, and the non-fuel retail sales market is expected to reach $ 285 billion worldwide for the same year, the startup is now focusing on its strategy to integrate its technology into more vehicles.
“With Ryd we want to enable safe and seamless interactions with automobiles,” said Oliver Goetz, founder and president of Ryd, in a statement. “BP is the final piece of our puzzle and completes our ecosystem with strong strategic partners in all our business areas: finance, automotive and energy. BP expects tens of millions of car drivers to switch to direct digital payment systems, which are connected to both car data and payment systems at gas stations and beyond. This new form of payment is much faster, simpler and more comfortable. Ryd is on the way to leading this movement in Europe. “
Ryd expects to start operations at BP’s first service stations in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Ryd CEO Sandra Dax.