On-demand mobility, when done successfully, strikes a balance between demand and supply while providing reliable service and making a profit. It’s a sweet spot that can be difficult, if not impossible, to find.
Autofleet, a startup that develops fleet optimization software to redirect underused vehicles into ride-hailing and delivery services, wants to solve that mission impossible. Now, the company founded by former Avis and Gett employees, has raised $7.5 million in seed and Series A funding to expand into international markets and grow its research and development team.
Autofleet developed a fleet management platform that can be used by rental car companies, car sharing operators and automakers to launch or better manage mobility services. The platform includes a booking app and integrations to delivery services, demand prediction, pooling and optimization algorithms as well as a driver app, and control center. The company also has developed a simulator tool that lets operators plan how a fleet will be deployed before a single vehicle hits the road.
For example, a rental company with abundant inventory and little demand for traditional multi-day contracts could use the platform to launch and then manage a car-sharing service. Autofleet already has partnerships with Avis Budget Group, Zipcar, Keolis and Suzuki.
That focus on managing supply side constraints is what attracted Maniv Mobility to invest in the seed and Series A rounds, according the firm’s general partner Olaf Sakkers.
Autofleet’s biggest markets today are in Europe and the U.S., CEO Kobi Eisenberg told TechCrunch. The company is seeing early traction and fast growth in Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Eisenberg said they plan to double down on these markets. The company also expects to announce a partnership in Asia to accelerate growth in that region.
Autofleet is also looking for new opportunities for how vehicle fleets can be used, including ways to help micromobility companies improve their unit economics, according to Eisenberg.
In this age of COVID-19 — when asset-heavy businesses like rental car companies have seen their businesses upended — Autofleet has already discovered new uses for its platform. The platform is being used to help companies shift fleets to meet today’s demand for logistics and medical transportation. Autofleet is also selling its platform to companies looking to leverage their vehicle assets for their delivery services.
“We’re hearing from fleet partners around the globe who are experiencing dramatic drops in demand, and therefore significant portions of their fleet and drivers are un-utilized,” Eisenberg said. “At the same time, we have seen a sharp increase in demand for delivery services from businesses across all verticals: retail and supermarkets, restaurants.”