Europcar Labs is in line for a busy few months after its parent company Europcar highlighted some new initiatives and launches coming out of the dedicated innovation unit.
The flagship product of Europcar Labs is French start-up Ubeeqo, a business which Europcar acquired at the start of 2015. It has a number of interesting B2B and B2C product lines around car sharing and multimodal and develops its own technology.
The B2C side of its operations is aimed at giving consumers in urban areas an option to car ownership by giving access via its app to a combination of car rentals by the hour, traditional car hire and taxi bookings.
It launched this service in London and Paris at the start of the year and told the market today that it would start operating in Brussels, Berlin and Hamburg.
Europcar has also prioritised trying to convert some of its existing corporate account holders to Ubeeqo's B2B options.
The traditional car rental players around the globe are feeling the pressure from the Ubers of this world, businesses which are muscling in on the transportation needs of the global population. Europcar Labs is trying to address that shift by spending and investing in start-ups and innovation.
Another Europcar Labs investment is E-Car Club, a pay-per-use club entirely committed to electric cars. Europcar Labs took a majority stake in this business last July.
The core business looks like it might need refreshing - Europcar described its first quarter results, released today, as "sound" - the markets disagreed and its share price its down by 6.5% on last night's close.
Related reading from Tnooz:
Europcar buys some ingenuity and audacity via Ubeeqo deal (Jan 2015)