Shareit started one year ago as a small peer-to-peer car rental service but is quickly expanding its operations to smart mobility solutions. The company plans to bring car owners, dealers, rental services and users to its matchmaking platform that can also be integrated into other smart mobility services.
One of the first things that Shareit did after it was founded in 2015 was to buy an existing peer-to-peer car rental company called Kortteliauto.
“Kortteliauto provided us with a working platform. We wanted to prove that we could run an existing service in a smart, sustainable and profitable way. To enable growth and international expansion, we began searching collaborative partners through Intelligent Transport Systems Finland. That quickly led us to explore smart mobility, and now we’re firmly on that road,” says CEO Paul Nyberg from Shareit.
What kinds of solutions do you offer for future smart mobility?
“We are currently running and developing three services. One of them is our peer-to-peer car rental service Shareit Blox Car. It provides a platform for sharing and renting privately owned cars. The second is Shareit Car Club, an electric car rental service. Our third service, Shareit Aggregator platform, will bring together car rental companies, car dealers, ride-sharing services, private car owners and car users. We offer the platform to Mobility as a Service operators, online journey planners, city authorities and public transportation operators who can easily integrate it into their smart mobility ecosystems to offer customers flexible mobility options and integrated public and private transportation.”
Which practical problems does your smart mobility solution solve, and whose daily life does it facilitate?
“Our peer-to-peer car rental service facilitates the daily life of private car owners by helping them earn money with their vehicle when they are not using it. It also offers cars without the fixed costs of ownership for those who don’t want to own one. Car dealers can rent their cars while they are waiting to be sold, which brings extra revenue and new potential buyers behind their wheels. With Shareit Aggregator, we present a win-win scenario for all players by offering a way to utilize existing resources more efficiently.”
How far are you now with the development of your smart mobility solution?
“Our peer-to-peer rental service is up and running and will soon be integrated into the mobility services of Tuup and MaaS Finland, as an additional mode of transportation. We are developing our new Shareit Aggregator platform, which will be launched in the fall of 2016. We are also negotiating collaboration with the City of Turku and its public transportation service. Our other partners include PayIQ, Netwheels, Autovista and V-Traffic. One of our biggest achievements so far is the first insurance for peer-to-peer car rentals in the Nordic countries, created in collaboration with If insurance company. It will lower the risk of renting and make it even more appealing.”
What plans do you have for the future? What kinds of challenges and goals do you have regarding internationalization?
“We aim to become the largest peer-to-peer platform in Finland by the end of this year. Our goal is to create a global service. We are currently setting up operations in Sweden and participating in Drive Sweden program, which is planning the future of Swedish public transportation and shared resources. We will probably launch Shareit Blox Car there by the end of 2016, and then continue to other Nordic countries and beyond.”
Is Finland a good country for developing smart mobility solutions? Why?
“Finland is an excellent country for developing smart mobility solutions. It is one of the few countries where all levels of infrastructure enabling smart mobility are in place, from core traffic and IT infrastructure to integrated online services and interfaces and Mobility as a Service operators. Our public authorities, particularly the Minister of Transport and Communications, have taken an active role in advancing smart mobility, as have the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes and Finpro, the public organization supporting Finnish exports.”
Technology already offers lots of possibilities but the challenge often lies in getting people to use new solutions. How do you think we could encourage people to use smart mobility solutions?
“By bringing mobility services into the daily life of consumers and by making them really easy to use. They should preferably be cheaper than traditional solutions. Marketing is also extremely important. No product or service sells without branding and marketing.”
- Discover business opportunities in the Helsinki region:www.helsinkibusinesshub.fi/focus/smart-mobility/.
- Internationalisation services for Finnish companies: www.exportfinland.fi
- Test and develop your product in Finland: www.tekes.fi/en/programmes-and-services/tekes-programmes/mobility-as-a-service/