Moving in changing times
Mobility has remained at a similar stage over the last few years: in movement. In order to keep on track with evolving customer needs, the ecosystem´s proper dynamic and the unexpected pandemic situation, it kept evolving and responding positively to the year´s challenges. Many mobility-related companies needed to re-invent themselves and accelerate their digitization to stay afloat during the good and bad months both for the movement of people and goods.
The way people and goods moved in the ecosystem also went through a transformation. In the case of people, respecting social distancing; public transportation was no longer an option for a period of time, and that was when other options like private vehicles, taxis or e-hailing platforms rose to the top in the consumer´s range of choices. One of the options that could not go unnoticed during 2020, due to its compliance with social distancing and which was an excellent option for short, eco-friendly and low-cost trips, was undoubtedly micromobility. It is estimated that by 2030 micromobility, in markets like the United States will be worth an estimated US$200-300 b in Europe US$100-150 b and in China $30-50 b. Even after these pandemic times, micromobility has the opportunity to still be around; continuing to grow its fleets, launching new business models and continue to be an attractive option for investors or possible strategic partners.
Goods distribution was also a hot topic in the agenda for manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and shippers; trying to understand how supply chains should be disrupted. Due to their experience and capacity, shared mobility providers responded to the demand and covered urban deliveries, for example Uber recently acquired Postmates, a food delivery service run by an app. We also saw the shared moped company, Revel, change its model to offer restaurants in the US a month-long free membership use for food delivery. In the Asian market (Malaysia), the shared car provider SOCAR focused its business operations on having partnerships with delivery companies such as Lalamove or MrSpeedy.
One top industry that was hit hard during 2020, was the auto industry. Auto makers also got to work in adapting to the new norm by changing some of their distribution channels to keep up with sales and with digital channels, finding new ways to connect during 2020. For example Tesla has expanded its online car sales and online configuration, taking it one step further by introducing a “touch-less delivery” system by which Tesla´s staff drops off the car in a delivery car park, disinfected and leaving the vehicle ready for collection by the owner. Companies like Mercedes Benz, Honda and Volvo are already working on online selling interfaces to provide customers alternatives during these unprecedented times.
The insurance industry empathized with the situation in which the majority of the population found themselves in, with regard to insurance mobility, by promoting the Usage-Based Insurance (UBI). Telematics will continue to grow its potential helping insurers to improve on their customer interactions, providing hyper-personalization through real-time data platforms and pay-per-use pricing models. During Covid times, consumers questioned why they were paying expensive auto insurance bills when they were not using their vehicles during the lockdown. A company like Chubb, understood the challenges their auto clients were facing, and since there was a reduction in their driving activity during the pandemic, decided to provide a fair premium adjustment providing clients with a credit on their annual renewal premium. Nationwide is another insurer who joined forces with Ford and Toyota to attract new vehicle buyers to UBI with driving data shared through embedded technology, and stated that 70% of their new business will come from their UBI programs.
2020 was a good year for strategic partnerships between insurance companies, OEMs, mobility companies and TechGiants; seeking to activate the ecosystem of smart mobility. Such is the case of Allianz and the leader in micro mobility solutions Lime, looking to improve the safety of micro mobility and offering two types of insurance for personal accident insurance and liability insurance with no additional costs. Another interesting case of note is the launching of a new company, Movinx, by Daimler Insurance Services and Swiss Re, with the aim of developing fully digital automotive and mobility insurance products that meet the changing needs of customers, offering the best-in-class service quality. In urban mobility, Daimler and BMW created a holding company which includes Hive, an electric kick scooter rental company operating in Europe.
The way people related with mobility during 2020, consolidated a trend that was already in motion, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), in which new mobility platforms are designed according to evolving customer expectations with the latest technology, and where insurance is included in seamless experiences accompanying the traveler at all times. The strengthening of the smart mobility ecosystem will happen when the actors who live it adapt to the new behaviors, address challenges, and detect the benefits that consumers need, all this in balance with legal regulations, environmental issues and other forces that shape the ecosystem.
Insurtechs in the Smart Mobility Ecosystem
Of the 793 insurtechs in the sample, a total of 135 companies belong to the Smart mobility ecosystem (which represents 16% of the total), and of these, only 30 received investment during 2020.
The total investment figure in 2020 in the ecosystem was 369 million dollars, which represents 6.1% of total investments in 2020.
Clearcover is a digital car insurance provider offering better coverage for less money.
Total funding amount: $ 50 M
The Zebra operaters online insurance comparison marketplace.
Total funding amount: $ 38.5 M
Buckle is a financial services company that provides ride-hailing insurance.
Total funding amount: $ 38.5 M