The latest research on investment into mobility startups from McKinsey and Company, shows the industry invested $120 billion over the last 24 months. As the automotive industry broadens its definition of mobility, venture capitalists, automotive OEMs and new players to the industry are attempting to fortify their positions in the present (and more importantly) the future mobility and transportation market. The big industry investments follow the startups that offer one or more of the four ACES of future transportation; Autonomous, Connectivity, Electric and Shared.
In this article, we will discuss the 8 top mobility startups of 2019 that we think are disrupting the transportation industry.
8 Mobility Start-ups To Watch in 2019
1. Clevr Mobility
As dockless light electric vehicles (LEVs) become the preferred choice for mobility-on-demand users, cities and startups are finding it difficult to implement regulations and enforce compliance.
CLEVR Mobility was founded out of a passion for trying to solve these new and unique urban transportation challenges that are the product of global population growth and innovative advancements in transportation technology. What makes them stand out from their micromobility competitors, is their understanding that changing human behavior can be extremeley difficult,
“Rather than try to control user behavior management, we try to control the vehicles deployed through intelligence. Sidewalk driving can now be geofenced and controlled at a reasonable speed.”
The company do this using very precise GPS tracking module that is accurate to within three feet. The company is also offering a three-wheeled scooter, that can be fitted with a seat, to make it viable for people who have disabilities.
Twaice, a Munich-based startup developing “predictive analytics” software to help with battery management in electric vehicles and other devices.
Despite having numerous disadvantages, lithium-ion batteries are currently used in electric mobility vehicles. The cost of production is high (30%-50% of overall production), the batteries degrade over time and in terms of safety, there is still room for improvement.
Twaice software, which is already used in trucks, cars, e-scooters and stationary power storage, creates a “digital twin” of battery systems – using physical and data-driven battery models and utilising sensor data. The company is then able to accurately make real-time predictions about the health of the battery – which can lengthen the lifetime and warranty of the batteries.
Recently the company raised an additional €2 million in seed funding from Berlin’s Cherry Ventures as well as existing investors UVC Partners and Speedinvest. This brings their total to €3.2 million – not bad for a nine month old company from Technical University of Munich.
Velocia is an open loyalty network for urban mobility that will organise all your trips into one hub. The integrated mobility aspect of Velocia addresses users’ need to get around in the city in the most efficient manner. Velocia uses blockchain technology to create the open loyalty aspect of its platform. With Velocia, a user will sign-in once and will be rewarded if they choose to share their information with other companies. Each user has the option to give information, but they can also retain or retract the information thanks to blockchain protocols.
Public authority has up until now, resorted to punishing companies and startups for their users bad behavior and taxing modes of transportation that they hope to discourage. However, this seems to be an endless cycle of punishment, as users won’t change their bahavior if they don’t suffer the consequences personally. Velocia wants to try positive behavior modification instead.
CEO David Winterstein wants to reward people “for parking in a specific area” or for taking the bus or train instead of driving, or for using a shared bicycle instead of a car. Users who do things that reduce traffic and pollution are rewarded with a virtual currency called Velos that can be redeemed for bus or metro tickets, bikeshare time or other mobility-related services.
4. Koloni share
When focusing on bikeshare startups, one not to be overlooked is Koloni, which began as a bike sharing operation in Pocahontas, Iowa in 2016. The idea was to bring bike sharing to smaller towns, that their competitors usually overlook. Koloni is currently in 14 small town across the State. In creating these bike share schemes, its founders, Bryan Dewey and Kate Lyon thought, ‘why not use the same platform to share other things too?’
Users with the app can not only unlock bicycles and scooters, but also unlocks Koloni’s storage lockers to borrow basketballs, tennis rackets, or whatever objects a city, university or property owner wants to lend. According to CEO Brian Dewey, “they can download the app and they essentially have a key to the city.”
Last month Koloni was accepted into Launch Accelerator, a San Francisco-based accelerator that invests in early age startups. Over the next 12 weeks, Koloni will be spending time in Silicon Valley pitching venture capital firms every Thursday throughout the summer
EasyMile is a pioneer in driverless mobility. The company is revolutionizing the field of autonomous passenger and goods transportation. For the past 4 years, the company has developed and deployed autonomous mobility solutions worldwide. Their clients include some of the world’s largest transport operators, city authorities, airports, corporations, business parks, and universities.
EasyMile first launched its EZ10 shuttle back in April 2015. The driverless shuttle was capable of carrying up to 15 people and provided a first and mile answer to existing transport services. The shuttle was also equipped with an automated ramp ensuring its accessibility to people with reduced mobility. The EasyMile shuttle is also fully electric and designed to not only improve air quality, but also reduce noise pollution.
Just this month, the company announced the launch of its new EZ10 electric driverless shuttle, which, according to EasyMile, is the first such vehicle in the world ready to operate without an on-board attendant.
The company also launched zero-emission electric tow tractor. The ideal solution for ground transportation of goods on industrial sites, logistics centers and airports, indoor and outdoor and has an autonomous fleet management system available, EZFleet.
6. wunder mobility
Founded in Hamburg in 2014, Wunder Mobility in now an international company supplying software, hardware, and operational services for various “future-oriented” mobility concepts. These include smart shuttles, fleet management and carpooling. The company reaches more than two million users in a dozen countries including France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, India, and the Philippines and is processing one million trips per month, worldwide. According to founder and CEO Gunnar Froh,
“We are enabling communities on four continents to address the global traffic challenge and to deploy more sustainable mobility options faster by hosting a full-stack urban mobility tech platform.”
At the end of 2018, the company raised $30 million in Series B funding led by KCK Group, with participation from previous backer Blumberg Capital and other non-disclosed investors.
As popular as it has become over the last decade, one huge problem with the carshare movement (particularly peer-to-peer car sharing) is the confusion over who has to pay for traffic and parking tickets. TIKD is an app startup that works to solve this problem. Currently, the ticketing agency tickets the vehicle, and eventually contacts the owner via mail, who then has to contact the driver. TIKD co-founder Megan Broccoli feels this is a very tedious process,
“This process is incredibly inefficient, there’s so much room for error, and as a result agencies are not able to collect on time for these citations.”
Vehicle owners may face late fees, collection fees, towing and even the impounding of their vehicle.
Founded in 2016, TIKD is the only liability management solution for shared mobility companies, providing a simpler, more cost-effective way to handle traffic and parking tickets directly from a smartphone or computer. TIKD monitors 700 ticket-issuing agencies to notice whenever a shared vehicle is ticketed. The startup contacts the driver directly to pay the fine. TIKD also offers BetterPay, the first and only private traffic ticket payment plan.
8. MOBILITY 4 ALL
Mobility 4 All is a startup that seeks to provide a trusted source of mobility for seniors and people with disabilities who are unable to drive. The company vets drivers from other transportation companies through its app, MO. A rideshare transaction will take place between the driver, the rider, and the rider’s caregiver, who is able to request the ride and monitor its progress using the app.
The idea for Mobility 4 All began when CEO John Doan’s big brother Roy was diagnosed with dementia and multiple sclerosis in his early 30s. John became his primary caregiver and transportation was a constant problem,
“Imagine a world when mobility doesn’t end when you can’t drive, when you never have to have that talk with your parent about losing their keys.”
Instead of calling it a curb-to-curb service they call it a door-to-door service, with a personable and professional team of drivers. In 2018 the company began building relationships with senior living facilities and medical facilities. They ran a pilot program from February through August, partnering with with senior living facilities and a nonprofit transportation service for people with disabilities in the Minnesota . Over that period, MO logged more than 300 trips for 40 riders.
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