More than 100 projects launched
Entrepreneurs in more than 140 cities operate their companies on ATOM Mobility platform
“The company that provides the software and the company that uses the software are on the same boat. Both can move forward only with the same understanding,” says Milad Mahmoudyan. Last autumn he launched his e-scooter sharing business Qick in two mid-sized cities in Sweden. Milad recalls that he nearly missed the opportunity to be the first to enter the market due to an unsuccessful collaboration with another software provider, but then he found Atom Mobility.
Launch date: November 2019
Country: Sweden, four cities
Fleet: few hundreds of Segway Max scooters and few hundreds of ACTON scooters
Web page: https://www.qickscooters.com
Qick mobile app (powered by ATOM Mobility)
When everything was nearly set up, problems with the trackers started to appear. “Luckily, we started to have issues before the launch – we could not integrate the hardware with the software. We had a setting in the configuration that caused a lot of headaches. It was not working as it should. We knew that we had competitors coming in, so we had to be the first in the city. With the help from Atom Mobility, we managed to launch before them,” explains Milad. “It took us three days of onboarding. We are probably still the fastest launch that Atom Mobility has had so far.”
A Strong Belief in Shared Mobility Drives the Business
Milad also has another business, but he always believed in shared mobility, so he decided to create the Qick platform: “Originally, we thought of establishing a cab company, but we knew that the electric scooter sharing service will eventually come to the city which would affect our business. It is just a better way of transportation than a standard taxi. So, we started to look at how we could be in front of this movement instead of being affected by it.”
Milad invested money from his existing business and took out a loan. He was not afraid as he considered it to be a safe investment. Milad says that among younger people the demand to have their own car or even use a cab is decreasing significantly. They require other means of transportation. They are looking for solutions that are super easy and fun. And now it is hard to find better transportation than the electric scooter. “Especially downtown, an electric scooter is faster and more fun to drive. Otherwise, people must drive a car, pay for parking, and sit in traffic jams. You can avoid all of that by using an electric scooter. People get this and are increasingly using scooters,” observes Milad.
Even during the pandemic, there was a proper demand for electric scooters in the city. Qick felt the decline in rides for the first two weeks after everything started to go into lockdown. They kept scooters outside as there were people that preferred to use them: “People always had disinfection liquids with them. We also paid special attention to the disinfection of handlebars. In a few weeks, everything proceeded as usual. Mainly because people saw e-scooters as a better option than riding on public transport,” concludes Milad.
The Advantage of Being Small
Quick is currently a team of six people operating in four mid-sized Swedish cities. They have one big competitor, but Milad says that sometimes being small is a competitive advantage: “The main difference between Qick and the big player in the market is that we are a local company here in the city. Big companies do not necessarily value day to day work. A small company like us puts a lot of effort into solving everyday issues. By that, I mean relocating and keeping track of electric scooters. We are constantly able to deploy at hotspots because we are familiar with the city. Also, Qick focuses a lot on customer support, service, and helping out when something is not working but it should.”
Milad’s advice for other electric scooter service providers who are willing to start their own businesses is to pay attention to the quality of vehicles. This is important as they should be able to serve long term. And customers appreciate the comfort and quality that reflects the service provider’s attitude towards them.
All Sharing Options on One Platform
What about expansion plans? Milad is willing to continue what he has started and even come back to the idea of cabs. The only difference is that he would like to exclusively work with electric vehicles in his fleet. Atom Mobility software will also allow him to integrate other means of transportation into an app, so in terms of the software, he will not require any additional investments.
“Another important aspect regarding Atom Mobility is their understanding of the business. If they help their partners grow, this will be also their opportunity to develop and grow. I saw this immediately after the first few minutes of talking to the company’s CEO Artur Burnins. They really value their customers and see potential in every cooperation. Atom Mobility is constantly working on new functions and features. We have not even mentioned that we need them, but they develop solutions. It is also good that we can ask them for additional functions and features that we would like to offer to our end users,” says Milad.
Together, Qick and Atom Mobility have built a strong business partnership. Both companies plan to continue expanding and developing their services by providing even more convenient ways in which people can enjoy shared mobility.
During the pandemic, Kyiv - the capital city of Ukraine - has changed. The local government decided to increasingly focus on the green course by creating a huge amount of bicycle lanes. Even big streets were transformed into two-lane streets and cycling lanes were added. It is a real micro-mobility service paradise, isn't it? Service providers – both global brands and small local companies - responded quickly and took the opportunity to run their businesses there. One of them is Zelectra - a company created by locals, which has just finished a very successful first season.
Launch date: Spring 2021
Fleet: 300 scooters and 350 mopeds
Web page: https://zelectra.com.ua/en/
Team: 25+ team members
Cool fact: 2,500 rides were taken on 250 scooters in 1 day
App Store: https://apps.apple.com/ua/app/zelectra/id1545583319?l=ru
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ride.app
Sergey and Eugine - co-founders of Zelectra - have been friends since childhood. The idea of a micro-mobility business came about when one of their friends told them he had contacts with the manufacturer in China that could provide vehicles if they are interested in starting a business in Kyiv. “We have never worked with scooters before, but thought that we could try to offer a last-mile service. That's how it all started. However, in the beginning, we laughed about the idea and went in separate directions. But somehow this idea didn't let us go. Then we decided to do the calculations. That was the moment when we became really interested in developing a solution,” explains Eugine. This all happened at the beginning of 2019. At the end of the year, both friends understood that they would launch a micro-mobility business in 2020.
Zelectra is one of the most popular brand of scooter/moped sharing in Ukraine
Learning together with the local government
The decision was made to launch in Kyiv - the city familiar to both of them. They hoped to be the first, but unfortunately, the pandemic slightly changed their plans. Global micro-mobility service provider Bolt launched in 2020, while four other companies followed in 2021. One was Zelectra. “The reason we started later was due to technical challenges, as well as some challenges while ordering vehicles. Of course, we had heard that there might be hurdles, but we didn't realize what they really meant,” Eugine recalls. For example, banks were looking at their potential business and thought that they were crazy. They didn't want to take the newly-formed team seriously.
“It was the same story with the government. When they got familiar with Bolt, they had a very poor understanding of what a micro-mobility service is. The scooter as a vehicle was not subject to any regulation. It does not count as transport, and what is an actual micromobility solution? Does the rider need a license? Where is it possible to drive? Are helmets mandatory? Where can vehicles be left? It was a similar story with the electric mopeds with 3kw power that we also offered - they did not correspond to any norms. When we put those vehicles on the street for the first time, we were told that we were breaking the law. Our vehicles didn't have number plates. People were driving all over the place and leaving vehicles on sidewalks. We explained to the government that none of the means of transportation were defined by regulations and finally they accepted this. So now we are growing together,” says Eugine. “On the one hand, we have some additional duties imposed by the government. On the other, the government is helping us a lot. The development of a huge number of cycling lanes changed the attitude of locals not only towards riding bicycles, but also scooters. It was no longer considered to be something weird.”
Hired 26 people on the spot
Zelectra was the smallest company in the market with the fewest vehicles - 300 scooters and 350 mopeds. The company bought scooters from the manufacturer in China, whereas the mopeds were manufactured locally. They didn't build a software platform from scratch. They used the ATOM Mobility solution. Eugene explains that it was important for them to find a reliable partner and not to struggle with development as they were not sure that they could easily find a common language with developers.
“All that we heard and all that we have been told before - it doesn't work that way here in Kyiv. We talked a great deal with different European companies. And what we said is that we, in contrast to them, have to be available 24/7. Our vehicles are often stolen. They have been thrown into the River Dnepra. That's why the first month was tough - we gradually realized that it was one situation how we had imagined things would be, but the reality was completely different. We suddenly had to collect a team of 26 people. We had to buy cars and brand them for the team to be able to serve all vehicles. We paid all our taxes and during the season we succeeded in building a really good team where everyone felt needed,” says Sergey.
“Looking back at our first season, I would say that we are happy that we didn't embarrass ourselves,” adds Eugine. “Our app has 10,000 downloads. We succeeded in creating the rhythm of changing batteries and making vehicles available on streets that are fully operational. By the way, battery life is not as long as the manufacturers had said it would. Batteries had to be changed twice as often. However, during the best day of the season, 2,500 rides were taken on 250 scooters. And this is what we are really proud of, because it is not easy to always find our scooters, but people were apparently looking for them.”
Here to stay for the greener future
Zelectra doesn't reveal the exact number of vehicles they are preparing for the next season, but the amount is going to be significantly higher. In addition, they are planning to launch their service in three to four new cities in Ukraine. “We are here to stay. We do really care about our service, because we want Kyiv to become a green city. We hope that the fact that we are here has also helped the local government to rethink infrastructure, as well as its attitude towards the environment. If we get the chance, we would like to have an all-electric business of scooters, bikes, mopeds, electric cars. We will try to expand and use everything electric to help Kiev become a greener city,” says Eugene, revealing the company’s mission.
“Being small allows Go Green City to be responsive and offer solutions tailored to a particular environment. Flexibility and agility are our advantages and that's why I wanted a software partner with the same qualities” – Jose Tavares, the founder and CEO of Go Green City, explains why he chose to partner with ATOM Mobility.
Launch date: August 2021
Fleet size: 200 e-mopeds
Web page: https://go-greencity.ch
App Store: https://apps.apple.com/ch/app/id1583947739
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ggc.app
Jose began building Go Green City, a Swiss electric moped sharing company, with another well-known software provider on the market. Still, he quickly grew disillusioned after experiencing delays in communication and a generally passive attitude. Moving quickly is a key advantage of starting a new enterprise, and being held back by outside parties was unacceptable. This became clear early on in Jose's journey, when he was still just validating the viability of his solution.
“The initial partner company was just too big and took too long to react,” explains Jose. “I wanted a partner that can match my pace and with whom I could establish strong foundations for a long-term partnership.”
After tasking his son with finding an alternative provider, Go Green City quickly landed with ATOM Mobility as it met Jose's criteria – professional, responsive, and not too big. The two companies have been working together ever since, with a shared outlook toward the future, and, as they say, the rest is history.
For Jose, Go Green City is about giving back. Having had a career in the automotive industry for most of his life, Jose wanted to create something that improves the lives of city folk and helps the environment. An electric alternative for urban last-mile mobility is his answer.
“We considered and tested electric car sharing and scooters, before landing on mopeds. The problem I wanted to solve was to get people from B to C. Not A to B, because I would compete against public transport and create more traffic and congestion. I firmly believe that public transport is the best and greenest solution that should serve as the backbone of urban transit,” says Jose. “That's why I'm focusing on a last-mile solution. My goal is to get people into the bus and then onto the electric moped, rather than replace the bus.”
Go Green City started operating in 2022 and today its 200 e-mopeds have done over 120,000 km inside the city with zero emissions. But for Jose, that's just the beginning. Looking to grow his fleet more than tenfold and launch next year in Portugal, Jose is steadily carving out his place in urban mobility through smart partnerships and sheer grit.
Jose has built Go Green City from the ground up almost single-handedly. Up until now, the company's operations were virtually 100% outsourced, save for the considerable efforts of Jose himself. “I've done my job when I can go on a vacation and everything runs smoothly without me,” Jose shares.
Today, Go Green City demands around 2 hours of Jose's time a day, but this is the result of 5 years of hard work and long nights. “To be a good leader, even to freelancers, you have to know every nook and cranny of the business and have to be willing to do the hard work yourself. You can't ask more of others than you do of yourself.”
Over the years, there have been a lot of hiccups – from vehicle hacks to delivery problems due to the Suez canal's blockage – but having trusted partners at your side and extensive industry knowledge helped Jose navigate all the ups and downs right up until the launch and beyond.
The launch of Go Green City happened without much fanfare. The idea was to launch smoothly and quietly, to avoid antagonizing competition and give citizens the opportunity to discover the advantages of Go Green City themselves. It was a tremendous success that was quickly amplified further through word-of-mouth marketing.
People were eager to engage with the new and convenient e-mopeds and became loyal customers once they discovered that it was the cheapest mobility option available. This also encouraged people to share feedback, all of which was quickly managed on the other end by Jose himself to further improve the service and foster a sense of community.
“I wanted people to feel heard and make them feel like a part of the business. That's why I always ended my communications with 'Thank you for being part of our club' and that really resonated with people.”
After an illustrious 30-year career in the automotive industry and a strong start with Go Green City, Jose's advice to future entrepreneurs is “don't talk, just do it”. Don't tell people where you are going, but announce when you've arrived.
“Sharing your plans and ambitions will only make people question you and you'll spend a lot of energy and time arguing and justifying yourself to friends, family, and partners,” explains Jose. “Sometimes, don't even tell your wife”.
“People have amazing ideas and initiatives, but they seek validation and support from acquaintances who can never really give you what you need. Usually, they just make you question yourself. Instead, just do it. Try. Even if you fail, the most important thing is that you've learned and you'll do better next time,” concludes Jose.
Thanks to an alignment in business philosophies, ATOM Mobility and Go Green City collaborate like a well-oiled machine. And Jose can continue his entrepreneurial mission of improving the lives of travelers and contributing to the well-being of the environment.
“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.
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.
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.
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