D’Ieteren’s Skipr to offer mobility budget management
Skipr, the multi-modal travel app of D’Ieteren’s Lab Box, is making a move to the business market by offering companies a solution to manage the mobility budget for their employees. Key is the ability to provide one invoice and VAT recuperation instead of employees having to send in expense accounts.
The app – former Pickaway – allows users to choose the best transport means for traveling from A to B, and buy tickets or reserve a shared car in a few steps. With its B2B offer of managing the mobility budget, Skipr goes way further.
“We didn’t even have to prospect for this,” Skipr CEO and ex-manager of Deliveroo Benelux, Mathieu de Lophem, says. “Several companies came to us on their initiative, looking for a way to simplify the management of a mobility budget for their employees.”
The mobility budget, created by the Belgian government, allows an employee to opt for a smaller company car and use the rest of the budget for alternative ways of transport. Skipr promises one-step invoicing for companies instead of the traditional system of expense accounts. It’s not the first to do this, though.
Payment services, like Modalizy (from Octa+) and XXimo (Sodexo), offer credit cards for single-step invoicing for mobility services. A considerable gain in time for companies and employees alike. But Skipr thinks to have an extra advantage in being able to combine this payment service with the multi-modal mobility offerings and ticketing in its app using Olympus Mobility.
Other apps also offer the possibility of buying tickets directly from the transport company, like Jeasy or ‘Smart Ways to Antwerp’ that are competing for the best mobility app, for instance, but no one-step invoicing. Skipr wants to combine both worlds in one app. It leaves the user the choice to deduct it from his mobility budget right away, or to opt for an expense account.
Two approaches to making money
Today, Skipr offers ticketing and payment for public transport companies NMBS/SNCB, Stib-MIVB, De Lijn, and other service providers, like Circ, Jump, Villo, Velo, Mobit or D’Ieteren’s own Poppy car and scooter sharing. Launched in June for private users, Skipr was downloaded some 30.000 times since.
To make money with its app, Skipr bets on two approaches. One is to ask a commission from the service providers for selling their services through the app; the other is a subscription formula for B2B. For the payments that aren’t possible directly through the app, Skipr will introduce a credit card.
The refund of VAT is one of the promises Skipr makes for companies, something that isn’t possible with the classical system of expense accounts. “It’s an important issue,” says Mathieu de Lophem. “VAT can be recuperated when you are a reseller of tickets for the Belgian railways, for instance. We are talking to the operators and the fiscal administration to generalize the system.”