Looking ahead, I believe that we are entering a new phase of Mobility-as-a-Service: an era of easier and more sustainable mobility
Today is a big day: Daimler AG’s and BMW Group’s new mobility joint venture has officially launched in Berlin. moovel Group and ReachNow (headquartered in Seattle) join the Joint Venture family and become REACH NOW. Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, CEO of REACH NOW, provides an outlook for the future of the newly established gamechanger, and the multimodal vertical REACH NOW.
REACH NOW: moovel and ReachNow are part of the Joint Venture to become REACH NOW. What is the reasoning for merging these very different companies?
First, I would like to emphasize how delighted and proud I am that moovel is part of this Joint Venture. Apart from that, a big thank you goes to all the people who have been involved in this process so far and who made this merger possible. This has come a long way and it wasn’t always easy, but together as a team we made it.
Even more exciting is bringing moovel and ReachNow together to create a global, Mobility-as-a-Service platform. I believe we are entering a new evolution of Mobility-as-a-Service: an era of simpler and more sustainable mobility. We are starting from a great position as we both share one common visionary for the future of mobility within cities: A World Without Traffic Jams.
Both moovel and ReachNow, are multimodal platforms, both are integrating various mobility services. Historically, ReachNow has focused on car-based services while moovel has focused on various urban mobility services. These platforms complement one another – and together, REACH NOW has the opportunity to create more liveable cities.
Not only there is product fit between the companies, more importantly the people are driven by the same ideas, values and beliefs. The opportunity to bring together the teams behind ReachNow and moovel is one of the things that I am most thrilled about as we embark on developing REACH NOW. I have been spending time with our team in Seattle, I am highly confident that we will work together perfectly as one team.
“Our team of more than 300 employees in Europe and the U.S. will be able to move quickly to build an entirely new experience that brings together current and emerging forms of on-demand mobility into a great app for users around the world.”
Can you tell us more about the vision of the new mobility company?
The mobility environment is changing rapidly and it is no secret that the number of companies entering the mobility space has been exploding in the past few years. Customers are highly sensitive to service quality and expect seamlessly connected mobility services to be available with one click. Both companies, Daimler AG and BMW Group, have a shared vision for future mobility and the same strategic goal of developing a global tech player in the mobility sector. The mission of the 5 joint ventures is to provide our customers with an ecosystem of intelligent and convenient mobility services.
The new joint mobility company will be headquartered in Berlin’s center. What makes the headquarters so special?
First, I am very excited that our new mobility company will move into Kaufhaus Jandorf which is not only located in the center of Berlin but also known for being a great part of the city for start-ups. I’ve recently visited the construction site – it will be an amazing workspace. Personally, I am eager to move to Berlin and work in such a dynamic environment. Our model of working in agile development teams with flat hierarchies has proven itself to be very effective over the years. Adding all of this, we will create a truly remarkable place to work. Being headquartered in Berlin and working under one roof has been the right decision and is absolutely indispensable to strengthen the ties between the companies; this should translate into a holistic consumer experience across all our products.
REACH NOW: Where are you today on your way to becoming the world’s leading MaaS platform?
We have been MaaS pioneers since 2015. For years, our MaaS platform has offered cities and transport organizations with the opportunity to manage various mobility services within a city. Combining various mobility services into one app allows us to offer a broader MaaS solution. With REACH NOW, our goal is to become the leading MaaS platform and the Joint Venture family will enable us to bring our vision to life.
Today, we offer an open platform and going forward we will continue to focus on efficiently integrating new providers. Additionally, our platform offers companies the opportunity to rethink employee mobility management programs. We view this as a potential lever to help achieve our vision of “A World Without Traffic Jams.” As we are joining forces with ReachNow, we can offer an even more competitive product set. Our goal is to integrate all relevant services into our single MaaS platform to meet all mobility needs.
REACH NOW: Which future roadmap products are critical to achieve MaaS? What are concrete steps towards this goal?
The employee mobility benefits program will be one essential step toward becoming the leading MaaS platform. One main component of this program is the so-called “Mobility Budget”. At moovel, we have been offering a monthly Mobility Budget to our employees to use our products. Not only for employees to better understand our customers, but also as a mobility alternative to a company car. We believe that people must be properly incentivized to use mobility options aside from their own vehicle. The goal is to reduce traffic while increasing affordability and access.
The “Mobility Budget” is a program for companies and cities to incentivize people to use shared mobility. Users hold a credit balance within the app, which they can use for various mobility services based on their personal preferences. The program supports the use of alternative modes of mobility. We already have been offering our “Mobility Budget” service to several companies and after speaking with many players in the marketplace, I have gauged a a high level of future demand/interest. We will shortly be launching our “Mobility Budget” product for all employees of Daimler Financial Services in Germany – around 3,000 employees.
Do you think being part of this new mobility company will change your relationship with cities and public transit agencies?
Public transit is the backbone of urban mobility we are working hard on further augmenting and strengthening these relationships in the future. We have been working in close partnership with a lot of cities and public transit agencies for several years and see them as key stakeholders to have at the table.
Daniela, how do you plan to achieve all that?
Due to moovel’s multimodal platform, I automatically deal intensively with our different mobility services. We at REACH NOW plan to integrate even more mobility services and view our business as an ecosystem. But most importantly, this is a group of joint ventures and every pillar will work closely together and follow the same vision. I am a true believer in teamwork and together we will perform.
Years from now, I will remember this as the first step into a new beginning – or in fact the dawn of a new era. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This whole evolution will be an outstanding moment for the industry and our teams. I can’t wait for what’s to come!
Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.