BP Ventures, the investing arm of oil and gas giant BP, has announced a €10 million (~$11.9 million) investment in Ryd, a German in-car digital payments provider. The fresh funds will help Ryd expand its service into international markets and build out its offering, according to a statement.
Ryd's service allows users to lump together online payments for services like fuel purchases, EV charging and car washing via the startup's app or integration with smart car systems. BP already offers digital payment options in the U.K. 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 from the startup's secure and flexible digital payment options. Ryd will get 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 that customers increasingly expect at our retail sites," Alex Jensen, BP’s senior vice president, mobility and convenience, Europe and Southern Africa, said in a statement. "Ryd’s technology can help deliver just that, and for an increasing range of services."
This isn't the first bet BP is taking in the smart vehicle space, and it likely won't be the last. In June, the firm also invested $7 million in IoTecha, a smart EV charging company that connects chargers with the electricity grid using IoT and automates charging payments. Strategic investments like these ultimately add to BP Ventures's ecosystem, which is designed to help BP reinvent itself as an integrated energy company, as well as help it reduce its carbon footprint.
Ryd is already accepted today at 3,000 partner service stations across 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 several car manufacturers. With the connected car data market expected to reach $19 billion globally by 2030, and the non-fuel retail sales market expected to reach $285 billion globally by the same year, the startup is now homing in on its strategy to integrate its tech into more vehicles.
"With Ryd we want to enable hassle-free and secure interactions with cars," said Oliver Goetz, founder and chairman of Ryd, in a statement. "BP is the final piece to our puzzle and completes our ecosystem with strong strategic partners in all of our business areas: finance, automotive and energy. BP expects tens of millions of car drivers to move to direct digital payment systems, which are both connected to car data and to payment systems at gas stations and beyond. This new payment form is much faster, easier and more comfortable. Ryd is on its way to lead this movement in Europe.”
Ryd expects to go live at the first BP filling stations in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Ryd's CEO Sandra Dax.