VC money is the most natural thing in the world: without it, BioNTech would not have developed the new mRNA vaccines and SpaceX would not be building the spacecrafts to colonize Mars. It is therefore not my intention to demonize it, but to make a more general reflection on what is happening in the market of smart mobility.
During the recent months, due to the difficult economic situation, many mobility startups have entered a deep crisis: those already listed have seen their market capitalization collapse, those which bragged about the investments collected no longer have oxygen, those which have chased obsessively buzzwords like metaverse, blockchain and AI now have to face reality. This crisis has led to massive layoffs and to the paralysis of many projects.
Mobility is a strategic work (if our systems were to fail, people would remain on foot, they would not be able to buy tickets, plan their journey, book on-demand transport services, access parking lots) and at the same time it is an extremely difficult one (we have to deal with 24/7 uptime, management of user data, payments, geographical data and we have to keep in operation a number of solutions for end users, field personnel, on-board devices, ticket offices, etc.). Our core technology moves millions of people and processes tens of millions of euros per year.
It is a market with very long product cycles and with long sales cycles as well, in which you may have raised all the VC money in the world but either you have a reliable product with solid market references (which you cannot buy) or you will never convince a big customer to entrust you with their operations. What disasters could happen if the supplier goes bankrupt?
Both for the large private customers that we have won, and for the large Public Administrations that have awarded contracts to us, financial stability is among the most important USPs that OpenMove can guarantee.
We have never sought (at least until now) capital investments, we have received dozens of acquisition proposals, we have said NO to loss-making projects and exotic pilots; all to pursue organic growth, with turnover increasing by more than 50% year over year fully reinvested in company growth, especially to expand the team (the true value of our company!).
We have proven to have a sustainable business model, with most of the income being recurring revenues: an insurance for a bright future.
Mobility is a precious asset and the best guarantee for our customers is being able to count on a reliable partner in the long term, whose numbers demonstrate the quality of the solutions together with the overall reliability and the trustworthiness of the company.
We are not the ones who pop a bottle when they get VC money, we are the ones who pop it when we sign good contracts with real revenues for years to come. Rather than mobility, I would say that stability is what we sell to our customers.