Belfius becomes reference shareholder of D’Ieteren’s Skipr
Skipr, the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform of D’Ieteren Auto’s start-up incubator LabBox, gets a seven million euros Series A funding and a new reference shareholder, Belgian state-owned bank Belfius. It will allow Skipr to expand and look over the borders, starting with France at the end of 2020. Most of the other EU markets are to follow in the next two years.
In September 2019, Skipr announced to make the 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.
All kinds of transport
The app – former Pickaway – allows employees or self-employed to choose the best transport means for traveling from A to B, and buy tickets or reserve a shared car, bike, or e-step with a few clicks.
Today, that includes services from Belgian rail (NMBS/SNCB), public tram, bus, and metro companies STIB/MIVB, De Lijn, and TEC, sharing services with bikes, scooters, and e-steps from Bird, Poppy (D’Ieterens own), Billy, and Dott, or taxi services from Uber, among others.
Managing mobility budgets
With its B2B service of managing the mobility budget, Skipr goes way further. “We didn’t even have to prospect for this,” Skipr’s CEO/founder and ex-manager of Deliveroo Benelux, Mathieu de Lophem, said at that time. “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 offers one-step invoicing for companies instead of the traditional system of expense accounts.
Solid base for expansion
“We have the right product at the right time,” adds Mathieu de Lophem now in a press release. “Whilst B2C MaaS players are often still looking for a business model, our B2B solution has been generating revenue from day one and perfectly fits the current changing legal frameworks in Europe. Mobility as a Service has become an indispensable part of the road to sustainable mobility.”
By seducing a big bank like Belfius to step into the company’s capital, together with the support of its motherhouse, Belgian’s biggest car importer D’Ieteren Auto, Skipr is creating a solid base for further growth.
“This funding allows us to take the next big step and become a MaaS player to be reckoned with on an international scale,” de Lophem says. Across Europe, legal frameworks around mobility are evolving, and companies are re-thinking their employees’ commuting, traveling, and working habits enforced by the Covid-19 crisis.
“Our professional customers can efficiently manage all administrative and policy aspects with the greatest ease. Skipr will keep investing to make mobility an easy-to-use commodity for everyone.”
Reducing CO2 emissions by 25%
Belfius, managing with its Auto Lease branch already a fleet of 22 000 cars for companies, wants to expand its mobility offerings beyond cars and leased bikes. It intends to help Skipr to become the reference platform in Belgium for MaaS applications.
On the other hand, Belfius wants to reduce the number of kilometers driven by its managed fleet and reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2025. Stepping into Skipr has to help to reach that goal.
MaaS apps proliferating
Meanwhile, several other players started experimenting with MaaS services, like Finish pioneer Maas Global is doing in Antwerp with its Whim app, mobility club Touring, or KBC bank integrating mobility offerings into its banking app.
At the beginning of April, the Brussels public transport operator, Stib/Mivb, announced was starting the six to nine months test phase of its new MaaS app. The company is to recruit 2 000 testers to develop its new program. It will allow users to get access to all public transport, Villo, and Billy Bikes shared bicycles, Cambio shared cars, Taxi Verts, Collecto, and Cric and Dott scooters on one app.
Young Belgian start-up, Eurides, started in May last year offering large corporations a platform, called Vaigo, to tackle the administration hassle of combining all kinds of MaaS apps for their employees. They will have to reckon with a reinforced Skipr.