TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring Spain-based MovoMovo, a new person-to-person car sharing platform for visitors to tourist resorts in Spain.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
What we are: MovoMovo (and a UK version) is the first website offering P2P car hire for visitors coming to Spain.
MovoMovo is a Spanish internet startup created with the aim of innovating in the Spanish traditional car hire sector.
It was founded eight months ago by a team formed by five people which developed the idea in only two months.
Today MovoMovo has already a community of about 2,000 users and is available in 25 Spanish cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Mallorca, etc.) with a fleet of 200 cars ready for rental.
Who we are:
- Santi Breu, he is the project manager and creator of the idea
- Jose and Manuel, progammers who developed MovoMovo technically
- Olivia and Maria Teresa in the communication department.
We are a small young company eager to contribute to the evolution of the travel sector with innovating ideas. Our aim is creating added value to travel experiences.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
We are a bootstrapped company, we created the project with our own financial resources.
What problem are you trying to solve?
This service responds to the demand of the visitors who come to Spain and need to find customized and more authentic solutions to their needs of transport.
It is an alternative for those travellers who are looking for different experiences, who need a car at their destinations and do not want to go through the strict process and prices marked by the traditional car hire industry.
Describe the business, core products and services?
In MovoMovo, the owner of a vehicle registers it easily and for free on the web. He/she sets the price of the hire, the availability and, that's it, ready to start receiving requests for rental from those travellers who need a car in the city they are visiting in Spain.
They can make contact on the web, and agree the price and conditions of hire. The clue in MovoMovo is creating a trust climate among owners and travellers.
How do we do it? MovoMovo has created an algorithm called Social Trust Rank which permits, by means of an analysis of the users activity in the social media, to establish an initial "score" about the confidence people place in that person.
Indeed, both owners and drivers log in MovoMovo using their Facebook profile. The web also offers a message exchange platform and contact details, so that they can achieve a high level of trust and coordinate the hire.
Extra income for owners - 50% saving for travellers.
Hiring your car is a way of obtaining additional income from an asset which was an expense. On the other hand travellers who hire a car in MovoMovo can profit from an average saving of 50% with regards to the traditional car hire companies.
It also contributes to diminishing the environmental impact of hiring a car.
Car sharing is a way to reduce the number of vehicles circulating on the roads, especially in coastal areas, main cities and the Islands (Lanzarote, Ibiza, Tenerife, etc), where in summer, rented cars represent half of the cars in circulation.
With such initiatives, implemented both in the tourist field and the daily life, we are really contributing to lower levels of CO2 emissions.
According to a study published in the The Guardian, vehicles generate as much CO2 emissions as driving a car during its usable life. If we share cars, there will be fewer cars and therefore we are also contributing to the fight against pollution.
The reason for the success of such initiatives is that they are more flexible, more economical, more social and more authentic, person-to-person.
A genuine experience! And it involves a different way of thinking, interacting with the community, recovering the individual to individual trade, something very interesting for a type of traveller who wishes to know in depth the city or country to visit.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
In fact, they are not customers, because MovoMovo is a free platform. So at the moment our intention is that many people test the service and talk about it.
So we want to address our communication to all the travellers who need a car during their visit to Spain and find in MovoMovo an alternative.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Indeed the platform is already working and we have been validating it with the present users before contacting venture capital investors.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
MovoMovo is a free platform. Neither travellers nor owners are charged any commission or supplement.
MovoMovo revenues come from advertising and other agreements with vehicle fleet owners. At the moment we are negotiating with several companies who trade with second-hand vehicles in order to market them.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- MovoMovo is a free platform. It has advantages for car owners who earn extra money a month. It has advantages for travellers who can save money up to 50%.
- MovoMovo is social, it permits a social exchange between people from different places. Without intermediaries, individual to individual. It is more ecological. It fits perfectly with other similar ways of travelling such as Airbnb.
- We cannot offer insurance coverage against theft, although we are now negotiating with an insurance company about this.
- We are not still known in other countries, as it happens with any new brand, we still must face the credibility challenge out of Spain.
- In the present international economic crisis, people want customized alternatives which meet their economic requirements. People has a different way of thinking. They want to interact with the community. They behave in a more austere way.
- The movements surrounding MovoMovo principles are in vogue: the P2P movement is succeding in many countries.
- Collaborative consumption is a popular movement at the moment which supports sharing instead of buying for personal use.
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Competitors offering a similar service, and traditional car hire companies.
- Insurance in Spain does not always cover a second driver and this means a limitation with regards to the quantity of cars we can offer.
In fact, we did not have negative reactions to our idea. We knew that everything which helps people to get extra income, or to save money is a good opporutnity bearing in mind the present situation.
Maybe the confidence is a controversial point, although we try to solve it with the tools offered on the site.
However the risk is always there. Market can accept or reject new ideas. But in this case, we are very enthusiastic with the response we have receiving from people during those eight months.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
In 12 months... it is difficult to say, but we would like to be considered one of the first options for hiring a car by all the visitors coming to Spain on holiday or business travel.
Maybe challenging, but why not?
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.