A few days after the startup UZE Mobility announced their plan to lend out electric transporters free of charge, the company has announced a new major investor: vehicle manufacturers LUEG AG, one of the largest sales partners for Daimler in Germany, is investing €1M in UZE.
That makes for a pre-seed financing total of about 2.25 million euros for the Aachen-based start-up. Additionally, LUEG will be joining UZE as an operative partner. This step will help the start-up significantly increase their potential field of operation.
The business model replaces individual vehicle rental costs with large advertising boards on the vehicles, displaying banner advertising while on public roads. The company plans to use the electric StreetScooters from the German post for the operation.
The first test run with 50 electric vehicles is planned for December in the Rhineland area in Germany. Next to the commercials, which are shown on screens mounted on the vans, which can be quickly adapted to where the vehicle is driving at the time, financing is also planned to be done via “other data-based business models”. Martijn Storm, head of finance for the LUEG AG, showed himself certain that big players in the e-mobility industry need to be fast and adaptable. What would be faster than offering e-transporters free of charge for customers, due to being data-financed? Data is the key, according to him.
Dr Alexander Jablovski, CEO and Co-founder of UZE Mobility adds that the additional financing from LUEG will allow them to fully test their data-financed business model and fund their market entry. UZE Mobility’s digital unit head, Sebastian Thelen, further explains that they plan to use electric vehicle and traffic data generated by customers to provide new advertising offers or analysis of traffic and traffic infrastructure for communities and insurance companies.
The business model approach is somewhat reminiscent of social media networks, where the product sold to generate revenue is not the website itself, but the traffic of the users visiting it.
wired.de (In German)