Europcar, one of the leading mobility players and European car hire leader, has announced its acquisition of a majority stake, alongside the founders, in Ubeeqo, a French start-up specialising in car-sharing and pioneer and leader of the business market.
The operation is part of Europcar’s strategy to extend its mobility offering in response to its customers’ challenges, with simple, turnkey solutions.
In addition, Europcar will subscribe to a capital increase amounting to €4 million aimed at supporting Ubeeqo’s development with the ambition of making it the European leader in new mobility technologies.
As early as 2008, Ubeeqo started thinking ahead of the profound changes the business fleet market would soon be experiencing under the effects of skyrocketing new technologies.
Thanks to the proprietary technology it has been developing since 2009, Ubeeqo targets the expanding business mobility market by offering a range of innovative and complementary solutions:
- Bettercar Sharing: a tailored private car-sharing solution that promotes business fleet pooling. This market has been evaluated by the consulting firm Frost and Sullivan at over 85,000 cars in major Western European countries by 2020.
- Bettercar Connected: the ground-breaking fleet management solution using on-board telematics that lets clients analyse vehicle fleet usage (and not just costs) and generate significant new savings.
- Mobilities Benefits: the multimodal alternative to the company car: ‘Mobilities’ allows employees to abandon their large company cars and to benefit from, in addition to a smaller car or access to a fleet of shared cars, a mobility allowance to fund their personal travel needs (train, taxi, car hire, etc).
Ubeeqo filed a turnover of 2.6 million euros in 2013 (up 40 per cent), and is part of the top 30 high-growth technology companies, according to Deloitte’s Technology Fast50 ranking.
Ubeeqo solutions will be offered to Europcar’s business-to-business clients (a segment representing 46 per cent of the group’s sales) thereby providing the start-up with significant development potential.
The company, already present in France and Belgium, is currently setting up in Germany and is also planning to deploy in the United Kingdom thanks to support from Europcar.
Europcar’s mobility offering includes a smartphone app and a joint venture with Daimler involving a ground-breaking car-sharing concept, Car2Go, one of the first collaborative mobility solutions launched in 2012.
Europcar chief executive Philippe Germond, stated: “With Ubeeqo, Europcar continues to develop its offering, its skills and its portfolio of technological innovations in mobility.
“We are immensely attracted by the ingenuity and audacity of the solutions Ubeeqo comes up with.
“Together, we are going to simplify our customers’ lives by providing them with a new concept that adapts seamlessly to their usage patterns and mobility challenges.”