Great technology is the foundation for any successful shared mobility service. When choosing technology for your operation, one of the most important considerations is deciding between going all in and building-your-own or partnering with an expert Software-as-a-Service provider (SaaS).
movmi has been involved in over 60 shared mobility projects worldwide and has partnered with almost 50 shared mobility technology providers. The goal for our latest whitepaper is to help inform your decision for choosing to build or buy your technology. We interviewed 12 executives and senior management team members that have been involved in strategic product and technology decisions for carshare or micromobility operators. These interviews helped map out the benefits and challenges for both options. We even include a third option for your operation, called SCL (Source Code Licensing).
Essentially, your final decision will depend on your team’s expertise and the bigger-picture strategic objectives for your company. To find out more, keep reading for a summary of our latest Technology Whitepaper. Download the full whitepaper here.
Build, Buy or Source Code Licensing: shared mobility technology whitepaper, 2021
shared mobility technology options
SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE PROVIDER (SAAS)
- Reduced go-to-market timelines
- Tap into the business model expertise and consultation support
- Affordable to start on a budget
- Limited control or access over operator data
- Limited room to modify the product
- Always a one-size-fits-all model that never fits every unique scenario
- Building out a product team is costly and there is little room for trial and error
“Considering dipping your feet in the water? Quickly launching in a couple of cities? Bootstrapping? Go SaaS.” – ShareNow, Former CEO
- Allows hyper-local, cost effective customizations
- Better control over product and features
- Key value proposition for funding and valuation
- Building out a production team is costly
- Little room for trial and error approach in competitive markets
- Finding the right talent can be difficult
Once you have it in-house you don’t rely on a third party’s state of business. It’s a great risk basing it on that, if they go under, how do you support operations and growth! – ekar, VP Operations and Product
SOURCE CODE LICENSING
- Reasonably quick launch timelines
- Control features and data access
- Access to previous operational expertise (SCL provider) based on their background
- Tech preferences may vary (code quality, style)
- Not a great fit for new business models (trailblazers)
- Potentially not as ‘valued’ as complete in-house development tech for investors
“SCL gives you complete control over the tech and data. We walk them through the initial deployment (phase) on their own cloud servers and after the initial configuration, we ensure to allocate resources to support growth and maintenance as needed.”– Mobiag, CEO
strategic considerations and recommendations
We analysed each method, ‘Build, Buy and SLC’ by speaking with our expert interviewees. We also took a look at relevant shared mobility case studies and broke down the costs, time-to-market, long/short term benefits and challenges of each and how to choose the correct one based on your companies individual needs.
We also identified four key strategic considerations and recommendations that you should keep in mind when choosing the technology for your operation:
- Shared mobility runs on tech. And it is ‘niche-y’ tech, that isn’t easy to change over, so handing the controls over to an outside party has to be long-term decision. This means that you have to factor in the risk involved when putting your faith in an outside third party.
- No market is the same, a SaaS or SCL will only ever give you 80% of all features. 20% is unique to you. You can either do that critical 20% portion outside of SaaS (manual operations, generally) or buy the 80% through source code licensing and build the rest yourself.
- Data needs to be refined to understand the market and your business. Both are key, not only for building that unique 20% which helps achieve financial success but also for attracting strategic investments.
- Cost structures vary based on your strategic direction i.e. is the vision of the company that tech spearheads valuation? Geographical locations matters. Government regulations and restrictions impact your operational costs which can, quite often, crop up unexpectedly.
Download movmi’s Technology Whitepaper here.
A big thank you to everyone who participated and supported us in creating this whitepaper, including:
The Expert Interviewees
- Aishwarya Kachhal: Founder & CEO, qQuick and Ghoom
- Francisco Loehnert: CEO, awto
- Geronimo Perez Terra: CEO, MyKeego
- Joao Felix: CEO, Mobiag
- Javier Mateo: CEO, ZITY
- Karen New: Director of Information Systems, Modo Co-operative
- Dr. Kathrin Risom: Senior Executive Manager Product & Marketing, SixT
- Paul Kluger: Senior Executive Manager Operations, SixT
- Roland Keogh: Head of Commercial, UFODrive
- Rudy Six, CEO: Invers
- Stanislav Betin: VP of Product and Operations, eKar
- Steve Banfield: former CEO, ReachNow
- William Knapp: former CPO, ShareNow
- Carol Schweiger: President, Schweiger Consulting
- Rudy Six: CEO, Invers