Latest ViaNova News
May 7, 2021
Vianova French transport data platform Vianova has been inking several agreements with European cities as it plots expansion into new markets like South America. The French start-up’s platform is used by micromobility providers, like e-scooter sharing companies, and city officials to coordinate various services and monitor usage data. It recently launched its services in Stockholm with Swedish e-scooter company Voi. Both Voi and Stockholm will use the data platform to manage where e-scooters can be rented, rode and parked. The evolving modes of transport in cities can bring great benefits, said CEO Thibault Castagne, but if not managed correctly, it can cause havoc on the streets and sidewalks. This has been seen in several cities over the years where numerous scooter and bike sharing start-ups deployed their services in a race to gain market share but with little care into how the vehicles are handled. This has forced many cities to rein in the number of operators, most notably in Paris . Vianova’s platform plugs in with a city dashboard to give an overview of not just micromobility services in the city but also its traditional public transport network and how these services interact or clash with each other. "It's interesting to see the mobility mix, from a city perspective, it can analyze different usage patterns from this mix of shared modes as well as public transport," Castagne said. "It’s very interesting to look at multimodality, multi modal behavior, to what extent will e-scooter riders hop on a tram or a train to go back home and vice versa." MORE FOR YOU Vianova's data platform Vianova Vianova has also ventured into the UK, which only began trialing and regulating e-scooter sharing last year. It is working with Northamptonshire County Council and Voi once again. "We started in Northampton and little by little they deployed the fleet in other areas and towns within the county. What was really interesting was to see the uptake of the city managers in creating the regulations in different towns and areas and sharing with this Voi," Castagne said. "There was the ability for city managers to create geo-fenced regulations about no-parking zones, no-go zones, specific mobility hubs to park the vehicles and do that in an iterative basis week after week as the pilot was growing and as the territory was extending." The UK trials are part of an effort to re-imagine transport in urban areas as lockdowns eventually ease and people return to their cities. He said it has UK expansion in its view as the more and more cities and towns put e-scooter and other micromobility services out to tender. Vianova raised a seed round of €1.8 million at the end of last year from RATP Capital Innovation and Contrarian Ventures. It plans to raise a Series A round later this year to finance international expansion. To date the company is operating in several European cities but has international expansion on the cards. It has secured its first clients in South America but is remaining tight-lipped on locations for now while it is also eyeing up the US and Australia. Such expansions are labor-intensive endeavors, requiring staff in each location to liaise with city officials and understand the challenges on the ground. "You really have to know very well the market context, specifically working with governments. It's very important to get real trust relationships," Castagne added.