The B2B and B2B2C Ecomobility startup market is at the crossroads of three issues that are the result of a real underlying trend in the core transportation market:
The amount raised by European mobility startups is clearly on the rise since 2018 ($4.6B to $11.2B in 2022), which proves that this is a sector that is growing year after year due to its ability to generate more venture capital financing (Via ID, Dealroom, Mobility Club).
CVCs with a focus on mobility in their thesis represent +50% of the amounts invested, which shows the interest of corporate players, most of them from the industry (ADP Group, Volvo, BMW i Ventures, Via ID, Porshe Ventures, RATP CI, InMotion Ventures, etc.). This figure also shows a certain balance of VC/CVC in terms of involvement in European financing rounds (Via ID, Dealroom, Mobility Club).
In addition, we can see that the mobility market is booming in Europe, while the US market has been mature for several years. Since 2018 the total amount raised is the same in the US, around $20B, while in Europe the total market is growing year after year. (Via ID, Dealroom, Mobility Club). This is due to one important reason, there are more European regulations that support the growth of the market and push VCs and CVCs to invest in this sector.
Last-mile delivery is being challenged by many issues: the booming e-commerce sales, +50% of the cost of delivery is due to the last mile, and by 2030 the greenhouse gas emissions related to last-mile deliveries will be +30% (World Economic Forum report).
Last-mile delivery is currently facing several challenges. These include the exponential growth in e-commerce sales, with the last mile contributing to over 50% of the delivery cost. Furthermore, the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from last-mile deliveries are estimated to increase by 30% by the year 2030 (World Economic Forum report).
Logistics/Delivery is still the top 1 market sub-segment attracting the most capital in Europe: $2.8B (Via ID, Dealroom, Mobility Club).
There are few software startups entirely software-based, the French startup Kardinal it proposes AI for the last-mile delivery solution, while being challenged by Fairsenden a German startup that raised a €4m Seed round. In the delivery market segment no major fundraising, except for Liefergrün which has focused its offer on e-retailers.
Bike solution (cargo, triporteur, longtail, etc) is the most suitable offer for hyper-urban delivery, due to the adaptability of the vehicle and the lower maintenance costs than traditional vehicles (12p5, CYCLE, VelyVelo, etc.).
The bike is deemed the most fitting solution for hyper-urban delivery, owing to the vehicle’s flexibility and lower maintenance costs in comparison to conventional transportation methods.
By mixing the software approach with the delivery Stuart (sold to La Poste Group) has found the right technical and operational equation to tackle this subject. And hardware autonomous solutions are the very long-term future of last-mile delivery, but currently, there is a complexity in terms of traffic authorization in Europe, which is different from the US (article).
Governments are increasingly passing laws to accelerate the transition to environmentally friendly vehicle fleets. For example, in France, the “LOM” law imposes greening targets on companies/public authorities and requires commercial vehicle users to change half of their fleet by 2030, or the EU’s agreement on a plan to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
Within the startup ecosystem, there is a boom in European startups specializing in recharge and batteries for electric vehicles, with significant financing needs (Electra Series A €160M, Bump Series A €180M, Verkor Series A €250M, etc). There is also a lot of Mobility as a Service type of software or software focused on data collection/IA, such as Nelson, which supports the electrification of fleets.
We can see that there are clearly issues with the maintenance of the first significant waves of vehicle and battery production (Upway B2B2B maintenance offer for e-bikes, Series A €25m). The addition of the long-term rental market for companies to a self-service bicycle solution for local authorities has enabled a startup like Fifteen to raise €40 million.
B2B car-sharing has many benefits: reduced transportation costs and increased vehicle utilization. And the Logistics and Freight market segment, mostly SaaS products, the focus of these startups is not 100% green, but nevertheless features to measure the carbon impact of freight are offered to their customers.
Employers, therefore, have a share of the responsibility for the ecological footprint of their employees and a real role to play in the development of Ecomobility.
There is an interesting time-to-market in France: in order to encourage the use of cleaner transport for home-to-work trips the “sustainable mobility package” has been set up by the French government and adopted by startups such as Worklife, BeeToGreen, or Skipr. Or the “short-distance carpooling” incentive offered by the startup Ynstant.
Despite the growth in Tesla sales and the arrival of low-cost Chinese electric cars, the electric transition is still long: of the 32 million vehicles on the road in France, only 1.5% are 100% electric and 70% are still diesel-powered, although Germany has just passed the milestone of one million electric vehicles on its roads (BMW i3, Opel corsa-e, Volkswagen e-Up, etc).
More recent players such as Beev, ePilot, Roadstr, ANYMOVE, etc, verticalized their offers to 100% electric since their creation, with also leasing solutions for light commercial vehicles with a company like Watèa by Michelin.
Facilitating the aggregation of mobility data is both a B2G (local authorities) and B2B need (large accounts, fleet managers).
At La Poste Ventures, we are pleased to support Vianova in its growth following a €6m Series A funding round with the aim of scaling their connected vehicle data analysis solution to help cities and mobility operators implement more efficient and sustainable transportation systems.
Although the technologies associated with Web 3 will shake up many uses, there are still few Web 3 projects related to Ecomobility and even more so on a B2B/B2B2C axis. There is, for example, Sweatcoin (UK), a solution for rewarding employees’ steps in cryptocurrency, which stands out in a still-quiet market with a Series A of $13m.
There is a trend for InsurTech to protect electric vehicle buyers, and vehicle vendors are rounding out their offerings like Qivio, which is adopting a B2B2C model to equip electric scooter/bike riders with the simplest insurance product on the market.
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