These 9 startups mark mobility logistics post COVID-19 future, according to Target Global Investment Fund - The covid-19 pandemic has revolutionized the mobility sector.

In the months following the announcement of the confinement, the use of public transport in the US fell by more than 70%, according to data from Apple Maps. In countries where mobility was restricted earlier and more strictly, such as Italy and Spain, sales of new cars fell by as much as 85%.

And now a lot of startups are looking to lead those changes in the way people move, with the arrival of funds that want to finance electric vehicles, micro-mobility companies like scooters and last mile logistics solutions.

Venture capital funds spent $ 11.8 billion on mobility in the first quarter of the year alone, according to Pitchbook's Mobility Tech Q1 2020 report. This represents a 62 per cent increase over the previous year.

The Berlin-based Target Global Venture Capital Fund has raised more than $ 1 billion in total, including more than $ 130 million for a mobility fund. It has invested in the transport, automotive and logistics sectors since it was founded 2 years ago.

But now there are even more opportunities for investment in mobility, because the pandemic has stopped supply chains and radically changed the way cities operate, says Jorge Fonturbel Saez, investment manager at Target Global.

"The mobility sector will play a key role in reviving the global economy, finding new ways to respond flexibly to sudden shifts in supply and demand for freight logistics, rapidly restructuring supply chains that break down and safely and efficiently transporting workers to their new working environment," he said.

9 startups mark mobility logistics post COVID-19 future

Target Global has identified 9 startups operating in 3 important areas that will mark the future of mobility. Some, but not all, are in Target's portfolio.

People's concern for the environment has been linked to the pandemic —and its consequences - and that people now make more life in the city, which has led many to look for cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives to cars.

Between January and may, 1.3 million electric bikes have been sold in the UK compared to only 508,000 cars, according to a report by consultant Arthur D. Little.

"Citizens prefer private transport such as bicycles or scooters, with a lower risk of congestion, to other faster and cheaper options such as public transport," said Target's Fonturbel Saez, adding that many municipalities are reclaiming areas traditionally occupied by cars to reduce pollution and create spaces for smaller vehicles.

For example, in the UK the arrival of electric scooters has been advanced, while in other European cities governments are subsidizing the purchase and repair of private bicycles.

These are 3 startups that are revolutionizing the field of electric micro-mobility:

1 Swapfiets

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

How much he has raised: they have not revealed it

What it does: Swapfiets is a bicycle subscription service. For a fixed rate starting from 16.5 euros you can rent a bike Swapfiets with guaranteed repair and spare parts at 48 if it breaks. He is well known among students, and has also launched a business service.

2 VanMoof

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

How much has he raised: 73 million dollars

What it does: VanMoof is an e-bike startup that is specially protected against theft and works with an app. This September it has raised $ 40 million in a series B financing round of funds such as Norwest Venture Partners, Balderton Capital and Felix Capital to increase production and expand into new markets.

3 Bird

Location: Santa Monica, USA

How much you raised: 623 million dollars (Crunchbase)

What it does: the electric scooter unicorn says its mission is to turn cities into more livable places by reducing car use, traffic and gas emissions. You can unlock your scooters with your app for just over one euro and pay per minute used. It has been valued at $ 2.5 billion after raising money with a round led by Sequoia Capital in 2019, but it has fallen after losing the Paris and Lyon contests.

9 startups mark mobility logistics post COVID-19 future: Trend number 2: consumers want to have cars flexibly

COVID-19 has led many to get away from public transport, although this may be only temporary.

Only 7% of the 8,000 people surveyed by McKinsey in May felt safe using public transport, compared to 81% who feel comfortable with private transport like cars.

At the same time, consumers are still unwilling to buy cars in the short term. In the US in July, the intention to buy cars was still 26% below pre-pandemic levels, although it is beginning to grow gradually, also according to McKinsey.

In that context, those who are turning around the traditional car sales model could be winners, offering more flexible options such as long-term rental..

"Regional tourism has led to all those travellers who are looking to spend their holidays away from home, and the car is the preferred option for travel between cities", has indicated Fonturbel Saez, adding that the oversupply of vehicles of the leading providers of the rental industry indicates that companies are looking for new ways to monetize their inventory.

There is also a shift towards electric mobility. About 20% of cars sold in the first 5 months of 2020 were electric, according to a report by consultant Arthur D. Little.

These are 3 companies that are springing up in the field of flexible car ownership:

1 Drover

Location: London, United Kingdom

How much you raised: $ 36 million (Crunchbase)

What it does: it is a platform that offers the concept car-as-a-service, that is, it facilitates the rental of cars along with their respective insurance and fees for a monthly fee. With their website you can hire a car for a month or 24, and they deliver it to you at home. It raised $ 26 million in July to expand its operations in the UK and France, where it landed in early 2020.

2 Virtue

Location: Paris, France

How much he raised: $ 35 million

What it does: Virtuo offers a car rental service starting at $ 55 a day for up to 28 days. It's like "all in one" so it allows you to book a vehicle at any time of the day without any paperwork or queues to pick up keys, as cars are opened using its app.

3 Cluno

Location: Munich, Germany

How much has he raised: 172 million

What it does: Cluno offers long-term car rentals for a monthly fee that covers service, insurance and registration. It is an alternative to buying a car and the minimum rent is 6 months. It has raised 32 million euros from Valar Ventures, Acton Capital Partners and Atlantic Labs, and another 140 million euros in debt.

9 startups mark mobility logistics post COVID-19 future - Trend 3: the explosion of online shopping is changing the logistics sector

COVID-19 has had an important impact on the logistics and home delivery sector, also boosting e-commerce.

Delivery company DHL says it has seen its package shipments increase from 5.2 million to more than 8 million, reaching levels seen in the peak Christmas period.

Thus, the consequence that online sales have skyrocketed is the increased pressure on the companies that deliver those packages in homes.

"During COVID, e-commerce sales have accelerated dramatically to levels expected in the next 4 to 6 years," said Fonturbel Saez. "Companies are looking to increase their presence directly in front of the consumer to benefit from extra sales channels, as customers demand more convenience... and they are prioritizing solutions that reduce costs given the financial landscape."

The expert relates automation to the forefront of this sector, as a way for companies to reduce future supply risks and cut costs.

During the 7 months prior to May, investors injected at least $ 6 billion into about two dozen companies focused on home delivery, according to Reuters analysis.

These are 3 new companies that are innovating in automatic and low cost home delivery:

1 REEF Technology

Location: Miami, USA

How much you raised: approximately $ 1 billion (PitchBook)

What it does: REEF Technology is a parking operator and logistics company that is backed by the Japanese megainverter SoftBank. It operates a network of about 4,500 car parks in the US that transforms into hubs of mobility and logistics. In July, it teamed up with logistics startup Bond to expand a network of" nanoalmacenes " that solve the problem of delivering packages in the last mile.

2 Exotec

Location: Lille, France

How much you raised: 111.2 million (Crunchbase)

What it does: Exotec is a warehouse robot startup that builds them to help automate logistics. Its main asset is a robot called Skypods, designed to optimize e-commerce web stores by collecting packages and following instructions. The French company has opened a subsidiary in the US at the end of 2019 and has just raised $ 90 million in a series C round.

3 Bringg

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

How much has raised: $ 83.3 million

What it does: Bringg is a home delivery software startup that is helping traditional stores compete with Amazon using an artificial intelligence-based program. In May, it raised more than $ 30 million from Siemens ' investment arm, Next47, and cloud software company Salesforce.

9 startups mark mobility logistics post COVID-19 future

You may also find interesting: