8 Nov 19

Note to start-ups: don’t try to evangelise!

At the heart of the Fleet Europe Village, the Smart Mobility Talks stage was the place to discuss how start-ups can make a difference and how mobility and safety can be reconciled.

These sessions were held in parallel to the Main Stage Sessions, giving all attendees the chance to follow the full programme.

Antoine Garrigues, Managing Partner, Iris Capital, gave an idea of the key requirements a start-up needs to be attractive to investors. And those requirements had better be met, because the number of start-up presenting their case is so high that less than 1% of all candidates lead to actual investments.

“Don’t use the word evangelise,” said Mr Garrigues, explaining that evangelising the market is far too big of a challenge for a start-up to take on. At the same time, the product or service they offer needs to be truly innovative.

As examples of companies Iris Capital has invested in, Mr Garrigues mentioned the examples of an open platform for connected cars, a ridehailing service, an online retailer of electric scooters and a new generation of car-rental service.

Focus on revenue

In the second session of the Smart Mobility Talks, three start-ups outlined how they had succeeded in finding the path to success. Luca Samori, CCO, Fixico, an end-to-end repair management platform, only launched their service in 2014. Today, in part thanks to their win of the Smart Mobility Start-Up of the Year award at the 2018 Fleet Europe Summit, they are on the way to being the leading car damage repair platform in Europe.

Olivier de Clercq, CEO, Parkd, explained the five steps his company had followed to scale up to where they are now. “Focus on revenue rather than features,” he said. Parkd, winner of the 2017 Smart Mobility Start-Up of the Year award, provides automatic parking payment solutions.

He was followed on stage by Frédéric Stiernon, founder and CEO of CarPay Diem, an automated fuel payment system. CarPay Diem won the second prize at the 2017 Smart Mobility Start-Up of the Year awards. He said: “The Award helped us gaining recognition and it helped us to position us on the European market, since before we were mainly active on the Belgian, Benelux and French market. Now we are in contact with companies from all over the world, which is partly the success of the Fleet Europe Award.”

Safe ridehailing

In another session, Patrick Henning, Business Development Manager, Uber for Business, ensured fleet managers in the audience that his company is a valid alternative for corporate mobility needs.

“We’ve put safety at the heart of everything we do,” said Dara Khosrowshani, upon taking up the position of Uber CEO in August 2017. That’s something fleet and mobility managers, who have high duty of care obligations. will be happy to hear. The carbon-reduction savings ridehailing services offer, should also help convince fleet managers.

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck