August 24, 2021
8 Promising European Urban Mobility Startups
We’re witnessing a major urban mobility revolution. Flying cars still have a long way to go, but we can take advantage of many other exciting technologies.
One of the major urban mobility trends is focusing on travel time goals due to transportation planning efforts. Next, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is rising, especially among European urban mobility startups. In fact, Traffic Management as a Service (TMaaS), created as part of the European Union’s Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) Initiative, was implemented in Ghent, Belgium, in 2020. Automated vehicles (AVs) are also to be included in public transport, with Rimac developing an urban mobility ecosystem to be installed in Zagreb, with the serial production of AVs expected to start in 2024.
The future of mobility is near, and these are some cool European urban mobility startups we expect to see some great success in the following years.
Lizy is a Belgian leasing company that offers used cars, founded by young entrepreneurs Sam Heymans and Vincent Castus. Lizy served primarily as a go-between in its first two years of operation, offering second-hand automobiles for lease to SMEs and self-employed people at costs generally €100 cheaper than lease prices for new cars. The majority of the automobiles on sale were from the Volkswagen Group, with a small selection of other prominent leasing brands such as BMW and Mercedes.
Lizy takes use of young people’s interests to a large extent by giving the option of closing a contract with a few clicks online and having the automobile delivered to the workplace in two weeks, for example. Lizy now intends to invest in its own vehicles and extend its offering of luxury brands, such as Volvo, which are in demand among the small businesses Lizy targets.
French startup Electra develops ultra fast-charging stations for electric vehicles. The team just received €15 million in venture capital and angel funding. By 2030, Electra plans to install 1,000 ultra-fast DC charging stations, starting with a batch of 50 that will be installed within a year. This initial round of funding will allow the firm to fulfill its deployment goals throughout the Ile-de-France area and in the cities of Lyon and Lille and invest in R&D and quadruple its current staff of 15 employees.
The charging stations are being installed in urban locations like retail malls, supermarkets, hotels, and parking lots and are entirely funded by Electra. The firm uses a zero-investment approach to charge hosts who profit from France’s LOM law (Loi d’Orientation des Mobilités) and attract consumers.
Vässla is a Swedish micro-mobility startup that offers e-bikes and e-mopeds. Vässla was founded in 2017 by Rickard Bröms as a response to his communal grievances. Despite its many advantages, public transportation isn’t always the quickest way to work in the morning, so Bröms searched for other, yet still environmentally responsible, options. The founder discovered that buying an electric scooter in Sweden was a complex process, so he decided to create his own mousetrap.
Three years later, Vässla added an e-bike to its three-tiered e-moped offering. Although the e-bike may be purchased privately, Vässla is counting on a shared economy strategy to make all the difference. The company has proven success in its home market, and in the following months, trial programs will be launched in cities across Europe, including Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg, and Madrid.
One of the European urban mobility startups that claim to bring the future of mobility, TIER, is a fully climate-neutral company. TIER helps communities reduce their reliance on cars by providing a range of shared, light electric vehicles, ranging from e-scooters to e-bikes and e-mopeds, all powered by a proprietary Energy Network. TIER, founded in 2018 by Lawrence Leuschner, Matthias Laug, and Julian Blessin, is based in Berlin and now operates in 120 locations throughout 13 European and Middle Eastern nations. TIER has been climate-neutral since 2020, emphasizing delivering the safest, most egalitarian, and most sustainable mobility option.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Mubadala Capital, Northzone, Goodwater Capital, and White Star Capital are among TIER’s investors.
Vanmoof, located in Amsterdam, is developing the next generation of city e-bikes. Its newest S3 and X3 bikes are entirely connected, allowing customers to modify settings, lock and unlock the bike, update firmware, and even track the bike in the event of theft, with a 95% recovery rate. VanMoof thinks that e-mobility is at the beginning stages of disrupting city transportation, and its founders, Taco and Ties Carlier, have a great vision for delivering on that promise.
Cogo is a one-stop-shop for finding and comparing shared electric scooters, bicycles, automobiles, and mopeds in metropolitan settings. Over 150 operators in 400 locations across the world have already signed up for the service. The app only offers manual and electric cars, putting sustainability first. Cogo is entirely free software that you can get for your iPhone or Android device.
Pony, located in Bordeaux, rents out dockless self-service bicycles and electric scooters. In December, the business offered a pre-sale of electric scooters and bicycles on its website, selling €1.3 million worth of shared vehicles in less than 6 hours. In the following months, it will also extend to major European cities such as Paris, Brussels, and Lisbon.
Unlike other big competitors, it uses a peer-to-peer ownership model, allowing any of its users to rent a Pony bike or scooter through its platform, guaranteeing that revenues stay in the community and reducing vandalism. They also collaborate closely with local governments to address a city’s unique characteristics.
Meep was born in 2017 to transform the mobility paradigm and end the current congested and disconnected transport system. Meep offers an application that integrates all means of transport in a city, both public (buses, metro, tram) and private (taxis, bicycles), depending on the location. Meep users can book and pay for trips in the app depending on the city and the agreements between transport providers. They can use each trip based on their preferences, for example, the cheapest, fastest, or most sustainable route.
Last decade has been the most important one for mobility software solutions. They have grown in sophistication, providing users with additional methods to plan, purchase, share, and pay for a wide range of transportation alternatives. Applications range from different types of maps and public transit guides, to ride sharing, car sharing, and parking apps. These advances provide enormous support for both tourists and residents, allowing them to move faster in cities, in an environmentally-friendly way. We expect the number of these services to keep rising, meeting the needs of ever-demanding customers.