Vaigo portal tackles admin hassle of MaaS app proliferation
Young Belgian startup Eurides is offering large corporations a platform, called Vaigo, to tackle the administration hassle of combining all kinds of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) apps for their employees. A European first, the founders claim.
By the end of June, some 5.000 employees of large Belgian organizations will have access to a custom-built ‘mobility portal’ where they can choose what kind of services they are going to use on a daily base.
750 BDO employees
International accountancy and advise company BDO is one of the first to offer 750 employees in Belgium a Vaigo portal to choose whether they are going to use a car, bike, bus, train, e-scooter or whatever means of transport they prefer. The initiative was presented this week at the Smart Mobility Institute in Brussels.
BDO itself belongs to the world’s top five auditing, accountancy and consultancy companies with 80.000 ‘partners and fellow workers’ in 162 countries. In Belgium, it employs some 750 people spread over 11 offices.
Link with ERP systems
Offering and managing for those employees a broad and flexible mobility platform other than a classic company car or public transport budget is quite challenging to administer. That’s why BDO decided in 2018 to step in the young Belgian startup Eurides with a minority stake.
Eurides developed a platform for corporations like BDO that can link an ‘exploding’ number of available mobility solutions to the company’s HR or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Starting from the company’s mobility policy, an employee gets access to the Vaigo portal with a unique ID where he can see which mobility options his employer is offering him.
With this Vaigo ID, in the form of an email address, the employee can make use of several MaaS apps like Urbi, Whim or whatever national or international app for combined public transport, car and bike rental app the company wants to include in its offer. Payment – full or partially according to the company’s policy – is handled automatically, without the employee having to bother.
“We wanted to encourage our employees to use the car less and opt for alternative means of transport, but in a cost-neutral way and without overburdening the HR department with extra administration”, Annelies Steenbeke, HR Manager at BDO says.
11% combines car and bike
According to a study by HR-service company Acerta in 2018, 76,9% of Belgian employees still drove to work by car every day. That is about the same number as the year before, but 11%, nevertheless, started to combine the car with the bicycle. It’s a trend companies want to stimulate, but that tends to be a daunting administrative task.
Co-founder and CEO of Eurides Roeland Vanrenterghem adds: “The discussions on the mobility budget often paralyze companies today. But if companies want to opt for sustainable mobility, they should focus on all employees, not only the ones having a company car today.’ And that’s what the Vaigo platform is offering in a customized way, he explains.
Not a booking platform
Vaigo itself is not a booking platform for mobility services; it’s the link between third-party booking apps and the companies administration systems. So there is no shared-revenue link with the app providers. The platform comes at a cost for the company, but far lower than when having to develop a dedicated company mobility platform itself, Vanrentergem says.
Eurides is targeting larger companies with 400 to 500 employees to start with. Today it is putting up platforms for clients – besides BDO – like public broadcaster VRT, water distribution company De Watergroep or French food giant Danone. By this summer, up to 5.000 employees of these companies will be using the platform, Eurides claims.