Is ATOM Mobility platform suitable for hotels and guest houses that wants to operate a small fleet of scooter or bikes as an additional service for guests? - Yes, sure.
It is even possible to get 20% of the total population in a small town to become users of the e-scooter sharing platform. That’s what the story of the GOON is about. The company operates in the small town of Zarasai, Lithuania with a population around 8 000 people and reached almost 2 000 users in the first few months.
Launch date: Spring 2020
Fleet: Segway MAX
Web page: https://www.facebook.com/GOONZarasuose
“We got the idea for this business from the example of big cities where big companies like BOLT, CityBee, and others operate. We also took into account the lack of entertainment for the guests and residents of the small resort city of Zarasai,” says GOON’s founder Darius Kilbauskas, sharing the story of starting his own business.
Drew on Support for Startups to Begin
GOON started at the moment when its founders decided to use support from the Zarasai Startup training programme for young entrepreneurs. It is a project funded by the European Social Fund Agency and initiated by the National Institute for Social Integration. The GOON team was selected to participate in the programme in April 2019. Within a couple of months, they were joined by business consultant Ugnius Savickas, who diligently traveled to regular meetings with the project participants. This is how the business idea succeeded.
GOON scooters near the lake
The Existing Platform is Affordable
Just to give you an idea of how small the town is - only 8,000 people live there. GOON started to offer its services at the beginning of the 2020 season and had 1,700 users which amounts to 20% of the total population!
“Our scooter sharing fleet has only nine scooters, so the number of users is really impressive. In addition, this year was different - many chose to stay in Zarasai for the whole summer due to the pandemic or visited a neighbouring country - Latvia. And the biggest number of tourists also came from Latvia and one of its largest cities – Daugavpils which is only 25 km away. Zarasai has beautiful nature, lakes, and excellent infrastructure to offer tourists,” says Darius. In addition, he mentions that original and attention-grabbing e-scooter design, advertising, and ATOM Mobility’s modern rental platform played a significant role in creating a success story. “The app by ATOM has never let us down and has met all our expectations. We are grateful to those professionals for their quality work,” says Darius, thanking his partners.
The collaboration with ATOM Mobility started unexpectedly. Initially, the team was looking for a GPS device for IoT scooters. “We were interested in how much it would cost to build our own platform. Then we realized that this amount would be far too high for our small business. I found a Lithuanian company TELTONIKA that produces devices we were interested in. And then a representative of this company hooked us up with ATOM. This saved us a lot of money and time. ATOM helped us to launch the app in 20 days!” says Darius.
“This is proof for us that even with the super small fleet, it is possible to run successful operations. And the ATOM Mobility platform is also an affordable solution on such a small scale. It helps small businesses such as guest houses and hotels to offer e-scooters or bikes as an additional entertainment option,” comments ATOM Mobility CEO Arturs Burnins.
Aim to Entertain and Surprise
Currently, there are two people involved in the team of GOON. Darius is the supervisor of the e-scooter park and is responsible for administrative work. While his colleague Augustė is responsible for increasing the customer base and overseeing advertising and design. “We do everything ourselves,” says Darius proudly.
This is just the beginning of GOON. The company is considering expansion and not only in terms of buying additional vehicles and also working in other neighbouring cities but also in increasing diversity and choice so that it is possible to attract and surprise both tourists and locals.
If you ever visit Zarasai, don’t forget to take an e-scooter and enjoy the most beautiful route around Lake Zarasas, an 11 km circle. Darius also recommends visiting the watermill along the route in Šlininkai and enjoying a great meal there.
Click below to learn more or request a demo.
“Upon our initial interaction with ATOM Mobility, we were immediately drawn to their interface and impressed by the quality of their customer service. Throughout the process, they exhibited great flexibility in their approach and were able to assist us with any difficulties we encountered.”
– Deroy De Bordes, founder of Wheelz
Launch date: October 2021
Web page: https://wheelzgh.com
App Store: https://apps.apple.com/lt/app/id1590136064
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=wheelzgh.app
Wheelz was founded by Deroy De Bordes – an entrepreneur with a diverse background in business, including experience in HR and property development. Originally from Ghana, West Africa, he realized the potential of expanding into emerging markets while residing in the UK. During a trip back to Ghana, he recognized a potential market opportunity for a car-sharing service company.
During that time, traditional taxi services and a laborious car rental process that required your physical presence were the main options for customers in the country. The founder saw the opportunity to fulfill an unmet demand through the creation of a car-sharing service – which led to the launch of Wheelz.
In preparation for the launch, they evaluated multiple software providers and eventually went with ATOM Mobility. According to Deroy, they chose ATOM Mobility because of its superior customer service and user-friendly interface. Its integration with Geotab's fleet management platform was also a significant factor.
Overcoming implementation hurdles
In the process of starting their business, Wheelz faced numerous challenges that required careful consideration and planning.
The company's journey began in the early 2020s when they traveled to Ghana to investigate the local market, identify any potential risks, and gain a thorough understanding of the relevant local laws and regulations.
As a company that heavily relies on connectivity, Wheelz had to address the associated risks of providing convenient and accessible services to its customers.
One significant challenge Wheelz faced was the unique characteristics of road infrastructure in Ghana compared to Europe. This situation necessitated the establishment of safe roadside parking zones, especially as many houses in the target market have gated compounds. To prevent any potential disagreements with other customers and ensure safety, Wheelz had to remind people not to park within these compounds.
Additionally, people may park on backstreets or narrow roads, potentially causing damage or injury to the vehicle. Therefore, Wheelz took extra caution in selecting parking zones and worked closely with their team to identify suitable locations within 10 to 15 minutes of each other. This effort aimed to ensure customers' easy access to their services.
Disrupting traditional services
Introducing a new product to the market posed a significant challenge for Wheelz, as it was unlike the traditional car hire services that customers were accustomed to.
“Our concept was new in a way that it depended solely on smartphones as the main way of accessing our service. The first thing we had to do was test the technology thoroughly to ensure its stability and security before it could be deployed in the field. Then, we needed to familiarize potential customers with the app's functionality.” – Deroy De Bordes
For marketing purposes, the company used a multi-phase approach. The first phase focused on creating brand awareness through billboards, radio, and television ads. The second phase involved marketing campaigns on various platforms, including YouTube, Google, Instagram, Facebook, and banner ads. This generated a significant amount of interest in the product.
Wheelz's pricing strategy was significantly more competitive than traditional taxi services. For instance, a one-hour journey in their most affordable vehicle costs 60 Ghanaian cedi, while a half-hour ride in a traditional taxi would cost around 50 to 60 Ghanaian cedi. This pricing strategy proved to be an attractive offer, as customers sought value for their money.
"Essentially, customers who choose Wheelz can get twice the travel time for their money," Deroy explains.
By introducing this new product and pricing strategy, Wheelz established itself as a disruptor in the market. Now, as the company continues to grow and expand its services, they remain committed to providing excellent customer service and safe, reliable transportation to its clients.
“Though we faced early obstacles, we persevered. Today, our innovative approach to car hire services has earned us a favorable standing in the market.” – Deroy De Bordes
Moving forward: plans for ongoing improvements and expansion
The success of Wheelz thus far has not led to complacency, and the company has no intention of resting on its laurels. In May 2023, they have plans to participate in a trade show in Ghana – this will allow the company to promote its brand and explore the possibility of expanding into new markets across Africa. They are also considering a franchise model to facilitate their expansion efforts.
Wheelz also plans to expand to other cities in Ghana, including Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi, and Cape Coast. Each of these cities will have a minimum of 10 cars assigned to them. But in the nearest future, the plan is to explore opportunities to increase the number of parking zones across the capital city, Accra.
“Using ATOM Mobility's platform, we were able to open up our taxi business to an entirely different target market – younger people. We've been able to offer a more simplified booking process to continue offering quality service to our customers, which is our guiding principle.” - Jamal, Founder and CEO of Vift
Experience in the taxi business: 6 years
Web page: https://viftmobility.com
App store: https://apps.apple.com/vn/app/vift/id1631027113
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=vift.app
As engineering students in the Swedish city of Örebro, just west of Stockholm, the Zindi brothers saw market demand and decided to launch their own taxi company. Starting six years ago, the business has grown to account for 8% of the local taxi market, attracting a higher-end clientele.
One year ago, founder and CEO Jamal Zindi was looking for opportunities to further grow his business. At the time, Vift operated as a classical taxi company – based on receiving phone calls and dispatching drivers. By using the ATOM Mobility platform, he was able to launch his own dedicated mobile app, which clients could use to directly order and pay for their taxis.
The effect of digitising his business was immediate – Jamal shares that they have received a considerable boost to business, as it opens the door to a new target audience. He shares that human behaviour regarding booking has changed. Many young people don't like picking up the phone to make a taxi booking, or people sitting in meetings aren't able to make a call. Having an app to offer makes all the difference.
Quality as a North Star
Jamal shares that throughout all of his journey as an entrepreneur, his guiding principle has always been to offer the best possible quality to clients.
“In the services sector, it's not about who offers it cheaper, it's who serves their clients better. We offer better cars, better drivers, better customer experience. If you do it better, people will be willing to pay a premium,” explains Jamal.
In the early days, Vift's differentiating factor was an improved experience. They, and their drivers, were from an academic background. They were younger than most taxi drivers in Örebro at the time, which Jamal considered an advantage. They were able to bring an improved customer experience to their clients, which was appreciated.
They aren't in a hurry to expand in size or geography. Jamal emphasises that they're looking to build a solid foundation and only then expand upon that.
“We don't want to start with too many cars. Our strategy is to build up the business in stages. Because if the foundation is strong, you will not fall. Once you have a system in place, it's easier to go to other cities.”
Vift has its own fleet of cars, and, using the ATOM Mobility platform, it can now onboard other drivers onto its platform. Though they're not in a hurry – they're establishing quality first and then will look beyond their borders.
Locally-owned as a key differentiator
The city of Örebro does not lack in its fair share of taxi sharing apps. They have Bolt, Uber, and others. But what Vift can offer and Uber can't, is hyper-local customer service – both for drivers and for end-customers.
“There are Bolt and Uber, they drive very cheaply. But the management and owners are not in Sweden. So if you have a question, you won't receive a response that fully understands your situation. People appreciate that we're from Sweden, that they can contact us, and that they can receive a response in their own language,” comments Jamal.
Using their competitive advantage, they believe that in just 2 years, they will be the biggest company in Örebro. And after that, they'll replicate their experience in other cities, still based on quality-over-quantity.
The secret to surviving in the taxi business – thinking 10 years ahead
One thing that sets Vift apart from traditional taxi services is their future-oriented mindset. Jamal shares that when making business decisions, he thinks about what will be relevant in 5-10 years' time. This way, he's able to stay ahead of the competition, and relevant to his customers.
One way this comes across is in the vehicles they choose.
“Right now, all of our cars are hybrid. But very soon we'll be switching to a fully electric vehicle fleet. It's the better choice – for business, for the environment. That is where mobility is heading, and that's where we have to be as well.”
When asked about his tips for other entrepreneurs looking to start their own taxi business, Jamal stays true to his values:
“Constant development. Professional standards. Work with the heart. Quality is what matters. Consider the future – if you only do things for today, then you'll fall down.”
Through working together, Vift has significantly increased its demand and revenue. Laying the strong foundation for digital services, Vift can now continue to build out the business and reach its goals of dominating the local market and expanding past its borders.
Learn more about ATOM Mobility ride-hailing and taxi platform here: https://ride.atommobility.com