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Alibaba invests undisclosed amount in Israeli mobility tech firm

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is investing in Israeli mobility startup Optibus Ltd. to help the company expand its artificial intelligence software for improving mass transit operations, according to a statement by Optibus.

Optibus said Dec. 12 that it raised $40 million in the most recent round of funding led by private equity company Insight Venture Management LLC. It did not disclose how much Alibaba invested but called it "a strategic investment." Verizon Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, New Era Capital and British businessman Sir Ronald Cohen were some of the existing investors that also participated in the funding round.

The company develops software for cities to help plan and schedule operations of public transit vehicles including electric vehicles in an effort to improve efficiency, reduce costs and streamline operations.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for a comment.