MEKO supports innovative startup – CEO of Ezeride: “Mobility can be done differently and more sustainably”

Since MEKO’s investment in 2020, Ezeride, a Swedish startup and provider of smart and sustainable mobility solutions, has evolved its offering and now assists companies in digitalizing their car fleet management. Paradoxically, the pandemic became a turning point – making the business idea even sharper, the CEO of Ezeride says.

MEKO supports innovative startup – CEO of Ezeride: “Mobility can be done differently and more sustainably”

MEKO’s business strategy is rooted in its vision to enable mobility. As the automotive landscape continues its transformative journey, this translates into new and innovative ways of working. In 2023, MEKO agreed to partner with ZEEKR, signed an agreement in principle with HiPhi, and built on its partnership with Fisker, another electric car manufacturer, across Scandinavia.

But these practices are no exception to how MEKO operates and the initiatives it supports.

“Empty seats are untapped resources that can be used better”

In 2020, MEKO became part owner in the startup Ezeride, then a tech-savvy provider of carpooling and commuting services, with a vision to contribute to the climate and solve traffic problems. Petra Bendelin, COO at MEKO, said that Ezeride “is a brilliant partner” for MEKO in its quest to enable mobility and that she sees “several possible solutions” for the future.

Since then, a lot has happened.

The past few years of macroeconomic turmoil and shifting mobility behaviours have altered the underlying industry dynamics and accelerated emerging mobility trends.

Early on, the idea with Ezeride was to create an easy-to-use job commuting product. But, before they knew it, the pandemic came knocking and the sheer idea of mass commuting quickly vanished. Instead, Ezeride shifted its focus to supporting its customers making their car fleet management more sustainable, better utilized and accessible. This is done by connecting the fleet to an application, where employees go to get an overview and make keyless bookings.

“In a way, this was a blessing in disguise. This is also when we found our niche and reached out to companies that understood the potential but didn’t really know how to improve the accessibility, cut costs, and decrease their vehicles’ downtime,” says John.

Soon thereafter, Petra Bendelin, COO at MEKO, was appointed to the Board of Directors at Ezeride.

“Being validated by MEKO changed the perception of Ezeride”

“MEKO has supported us and provided relevant expertise about how to set up a business and of commercialisation processes. Their presence has been important to us and in dialogues with customers. However, I still believe that there are lots of untapped future opportunities,” says John.

“The team at Ezeride has overseen the day-to-day operations, with MEKO helping with drawing up the big picture, expertise, and resources. Being validated by MEKO changed the perception of us and is a testament to our vision.”

When discussing the future for Ezeride, John quickly pinpoints three macro trends that align with the company’s vision: (1) Economics, (2) sustainability, and (3) mobility.

“The strained economic landscape and increasing sustainability demands from stakeholders mean more companies are turning to us. This is a global trend, but nevertheless very articulated in the Nordics. The idea that we don’t need as many cars mustn’t be confused with a decreasing demand for mobility and the freedom that it gives. It’s the opposite really. What people are grasping now is that smart mobility can be done differently and more sustainably.”

“The latest example that I read about was an initiative by the Norwegian town Bergen,” he says.

John refers to a recent article in Dagens Industri, describing how Bergen attempts to utilize its car fleet, which on average stood still 90 per cent of the time, much better than before and give the public access to the cars after hours and on weekends. This issue, however, is not isolated to Norway, but a frequent problem across municipalities, regions and companies in Sweden, too.

“These are just a few odd examples of larger landscape of unexploited opportunities. A higher focus on sustainability and increasing demands from stakeholders and regulators, reinforce our belief in our vision and offering. We are confident that companies can cut costs and become more sustainable – and still provide their employees with even better availability than before,” John concludes.

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