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3 weeks ago in Mobility, Venture

Urban & inter-urban mobility: how is changing how people move

Note to readers

This article is not intended to be a consultancy paper. Instead, we want to provide you with a snapshot of what we see in the market. With this in mind, we have deliberately created it. If you want to discuss a holistic approach, feel free to contact us. We love discussions in general, and even more so when they are about mobility.

1. Our glossary

These terms are live. Their definitions are constantly evolving, as part of the natural market maturation process. Please take a look and tell us what you think.

Before we get into the details, we think it would be sensible to set out our understanding of the basic terms being bandied around. Mobility is a relatively new field. But the jargon machine has been working overtime – hailing, ride-sharing, aggregators, micro-mobility. What do these words mean, exactly? Here we define our understanding of each term. And we invite you to tell us what you think.

Pooling. Services that allow users to share a trip/journey. The driver is not a professional. Examples include: Amovens, BlablaCar, Waze Pooling… companies like Note, this category does not only involve long-haul trips. Bynd is a Brazilian app that focuses on commuter trips and Less is a French startup specializing in short-distance pooling.

Ride-hailing. Service that allows users to summon a professional driver (an employee or contractor) to complete a trip/journey. This category include apps that have digitized their traditional taxi services, as well as those that have created parallel services. Examples include companies like: Gett, Yongche, Go-Jek… Note, this category is not the exclusive domain of urban trips. For example, Tesloop is a green startup that uses Tesla cars only for long-haul trips.

Sharing. Those services that allow users to share an asset (vehicle). The driver is not a professional. Examples include companies like: Coup, Emmy, CarHopper

Shared ride-hailing. A mix between sharing and ride-hailing, involving a professional driver and two or more users. Each user has his own account and pays his share of the ride. Examples include companies/ services like: UberPool, Lyft Line

On-demand buses. Those services that offer bus, minibus and/or shuttle transport with static and/or dynamic routes. A lot of publications (white papers, news articles…) have been using the term “micro transit services” to describe this activity. We are not a fan of that term, not least because micro implies small and can be easily confused with micro-mobility (very short trips), see below. In fact, many of the companies providing these services are doing so on pretty long routes. Examples include companies like: Chariot (Ford), Via Transportation, Urbvan… In this space, we want to mention Transloc, a SaaS and consultancy startup that is working with City Halls and private firms to launch these kinds of services.

Micro-mobility. Those services that target short trips, normally less than 1.5 km (1 mile).Micro-mobility players typically use small vehicles manufactured especially for these services. Examples include companies like: Scooterson, Samocat, Floatility… Note, this segment is in a very early stage of development but has received a lot of attention and acceptance from the public. For example, several crowdsourcing backed projects are enjoying success in this field.

Transit information – intelligence. Aggregators: Those services that not only provide users with information about their mobility options but which also allow them to transact using the app. This means users can select their preferred transport type (e.g. carsharing) and pay for and access it through the app. Examples include companies like: CityMapper, Rutapp, Ally app… Note, like in all of the other categories, the startups in this field are evolving. Fast. A great example is CityMapper’s initiative to challenge fixed buses routes in London.

Aggregators. Those services that put together different services (sharing, hailing…) in one interface so the user can see all the services available and take one of them. Here fit companies like: Chipi, Free2Move (PSA), Moovel (Daimler) …Here the assets are not important, whether the journey involves a car, scooter or train is irrelevant. They key is that a single journey can be completed through a number of transport options using one app.

MaaS (Mobility as a Service). New service category where players not only provide public and private mobility information and allow users to transact within the app, they also create and sell subscription bundles for a mixture of public and private transport options. For example, Whim (MaaS global) offers a 49€ per month subscription package for unlimited public transport use and discounted taxi and car hire access in the city of Helsinki for regular travelers who could occasionally use the flexibility of a taxi or car.

**** We think that “transit information-intelligence”, “aggregators” and “MaaS” depict the natural evolution of mobility. ***

. Those services that allow users to create or join a static or dynamic bus route. There are two very different approaches in this field. Some players, such as Skedaddle and Zeelo, target long distance trips; whilst others, such as MagicBus and Padam, focus on commuter and urban journeys.

*** Note, we deliberately avoid naming the asset in each case – it could be a car, bike, scooter, tricycle… ***

2. Some data: context

2.1 Social point of view

Passenger travel distance to double by 2050 — over 70 trillion km per year
Source: UN World Urbanization Prospects, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Per capita commuting delay to double by 2050 to over 100 hours per year*
Source: UN World Urbanization Prospects, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Over 37 cities – majority in Asia and Latin America – to have over 10 million inhabitants by 2025*
Source: UN World Urbanization Prospects, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Over 70% of global population to live in urban areas by 2050, up from 51% in 2010*
Source: UN World Urbanization Prospects, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

2.2 Market point of view

According to forecasts published by Intel and Strategy Analytics, the global mobility sector will be worth USD 7 trillion by 2050. It will comprise 2 main components: autonomous vehicles and MaaS (Mobility as a Service), which will generate USD 4 trillion and USD 3 trillion, respectively. Inside this enormous amount, ride-hailing, according to Goldman Sachs, predicts that will account for $285 billion by 2030, as the number of trips is forecast to increase from 6 billion to 83 billion. If this happens ride-hailing will past from been 33% the size of today’s global taxi market to outsizing the taxi market by 5.3x. And sharing models will account, according to Roland Berger forecasts for between €7.3billion and €10.9 billion by 2020 (inside are car and bike sharing, not counting scooter or other vehicle types).

2.3 Venture point of View

From a private equity point of view, the mobility sector is new and exciting. Like us, you may be interested in investing in it. Here, we consider the sector from the point of view of a private equity firm: the venture view. What opportunities exist in the market? What returns can we expect? Who’s already operating? Who’s investing?

Here, we drill down into one segment of the mobility sector: ride-hailing. RH is the oldest, most well-established segment; moreover, it has received the most investment. As such, it serves a good example of what we might see in the other, emerging segments in the future.

-The graph below shows the evolution of investment in the global RH sector. The waters are muddied by the fact that OEMs have directly created many of the RH options; naturally, they are not all startups.

-If you want to find out more about the deals behind these graphs, please get in touch.

Source: CB Insights

Source: CB Insights

We have tracked more than 100 ride-hailing companies around the world for the last 2 years and a half (since 2015) years, and whilst we are reluctant to describe the segment as mature, it is certainly the most developed in the mobility field. We think that sharing is the next most development segment, but it still has room to grow, both regionally and globally. All of the other segments are still in their infancy.

In terms of investment, the top 5 players alone (Uber, Didi Chuxing, Lyft, Grab and OlaCabs) invested more than USD 40.7 billion in total. Uber and Didi Chuxing led the charge, with investments of US 15.1 billion and USD 14.1 billion, respectively.

Whilst the numbers are impressive, what really makes it interesting is the funds are being targeted.

Didi Chuxing. has invested in 5 other top ride-hailing companies. It has also invested in 99Taxis, a smaller Brazilian competitor. Didi is also boosting the Chinese on-demand economy, investing in companies like Ele.me, an on-demand food delivery service, and Ofo, a bike sharing service.

Uber. Its primary goal is to move towards autonomous vehicles and so it is focusing on developing AI and mapping for AVs. Examples include its acquisition of Otto an autonomous truck company; Geometric Intelligence; deCarta, a mapping service; and Microsoft’s Bing, for mapping assets.

The other three players have been less active but no less interesting. Grab has been quiet, apart from its recent acquisition of Kudo, a payment startup. Lyft has been busy building a network of partnerships in its home market, to serve specific niche markets, such as transportation for hospitals and the elderly. Finally, OlaCabs has created and license OlaPlay, a connected infotainment platform, to serve the connected car market, which is expected to comprise 37.7 Million units by 2022.

Despite the high barriers to entry, you may still be interested in entering the market. We recommend adopting a niche approach. The scope is infinite. You can build and/or invest in a startup focusing on luxury (Blacklane), eco-friendliness (Tesloop), Kids (GoKid), women (See Jane Go)… the possibilities really are endless!

All this talk about ride-hailing does not mean that the sharing space is being left behind. It is also enjoying a boost from private investment firms. According to Mckinsey & Company, $9.6 billion has been invested in the development of technology relating to car-sharing since 2014.

This doesn’t mean that sharing space is been leaf behind. This space also has been boost for the private investment firms. According to with since 2014, $9.6 billion has been spent on technologies related to car-sharing.

OEM investing in this field

OEM, investments, financing

Source: Made by B4Motion.

If we look at the infographic above, it is clear that the major vehicle manufacturers are eager to compete in the fields of urban and inter-urban mobility. This is hardly surprising given that most car journeys are made for these two purposes. Moreover, they know that in the not too distant future, within the next 10 to 20 years, there will be two main threats to their business models: change of ownership to access (Volvo think that 1 in 5 cars of the cars they sell from 2023 onwards, will be for subscription models), and RethinkX expects more miles will be travelled in electric connected autonomous fleets than in gas powered vehicles from 2021 onwards.

To illustrate OEM’s wide-ranging activities, we have selected 2 European examples and we analyze their strategies in more detail as examples of two contrasting approaches: PSA and Daimler.

If we take PSA’s investments first. After a flurry of activity over the last few years, in October 2017, the car manufacturer decided to close down Multicity, a car sharing service that it had created from scratch. Instead, it will focus on its aggregator service, Free2Move (see the screenshot from PSA’s website below) backed by its iconic brands. It will also continue to hold a stake in Emov, another car-sharing service since it only holds a minority stake in that firm (Eysa holds the majority) and the service is proving successful.


Now let’s look at Daimler. The German manufacturer is clear that it wants to participate at the operating level as well as at the aggregator level. It has acquired Mytaxi, Hailo, Taxibeat… and has created Car2Go and Moovel, to be present in all the rings of the chain. Here is important to highlight how Daimler in September make two strategic investments: one in Via transportation ($50M) to help the international transportation of the startup and  the second one on Turo ($92M, in where the OEM was a lead investor; although it’s unclear exactly how much the company is contributing.), a P2P car sharing marketplace. In the same move, Turo acquired Croove a Daimler´s P2P carsharing.

In conclusion, Daimler wants to be presenting along the entire mobility supply chain: controlling assets, services, users… for this reason, it has made so many investments, venture labs, and acquisitions. Meanwhile, PSA is betting on this final layer, and not without risk, putting all of its efforts into Free2Move and closing down services like Multi-City.

4. The future: eleven predictions

Captura de pantalla 2017-12-27 a las 13.12.59

Source: Made by B4Motion with Urbi data, among other sources.

Captura de pantalla 2017-12-27 a las 13.13.21

Source: Inspired by a table compiled by PwC for Germany. We love Italy, so we decided to create our own version for that country.

Source: Connected Urban Growth: Public-Private Collaborations for Transforming Urban Mobility

Some interesting public-private partnerships:


5. Conclusions

Urban and inter-urban and interurban mobility will grow the next 20 – 30 with the growth of the cites (just see the social urban trends), this is a market that will generate a lot of profits (just see the future market valuation), the leaders are being created right now (just see the investment in the urban and interurban startups) and all kind of innovation has to come (just look the different new business models approaches and public-private initiatives).

6. Who we are and why we do this content

We are a Venture Capital and a Venture Builder focus/ specialized in mobility and nothing but mobility. We understand mobility as anything (Software, hardware) that helps to move a person or a good from point A to point B.
This article is the first one of a series of content that we will publish during the following months/ years. We decided to do this work for mainly three reasons:




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