With the gradual installation of several mobility players in cities, it is difficult for municipalities to really assess the needs in terms of urban space. Helping cities and mobility operators to collaborate is the goal of the young French startup Vianova. Through its platform, it provides a set of data allowing cities and mobility actors to find their way around. Let’s take a closer look at this innovation that has recently raised funds.
A platform for several actors
Founded at the end of 2018, Vianova was created by three partners: Thibault Castagne, Frédéric Robinet and Thibaud Febvre. In 2017, they noticed the significant arrival of fleets of free-floating bikes and scooters in Paris, but also in other European cities. As a result of this arrival, many problems with the development of public space have been demonstrated. For example, because of the lack of regulations, many people with reduced mobility or with visual impairments no longer had safe access to sidewalks.
Faced with the lack of rapid reaction from cities, the co-founders noted that there was a missing link between mobility operators and cities. For them, two important elements are missing for the collaboration between cities and operators to be effective and for everyone to gain from it. On one hand, a lack of tools allowing mobility operators to share and analyze their fleets in cities. On the other hand, the discussion between the two parties could sometimes be complicated. An intermediary was needed to improve the relationship between the municipalities and the operators. This is how Vianova was born and now offers 3 types of solutions.
“It’s very interesting to look at multimodality, multimodal behavior, to what extent will e-scooter users jump on a streetcar or train to get home and vice versa.”Thibault Castagne, CEO AND co-founder of vianova. FOR FORBES.
Vianova’s different offers
Vianova has developed a tool to map sidewalks, delimiting, for example, areas reserved for delivery, scooter and bicycle parking, or even paid parking zones. Thus, municipalities can easily update this data, so that it can be used and exploited by mobility operators, to integrate directly into their applications the areas where their users can park. Cities can also know if their sidewalks are in compliance with regulations.
The “Mobility Manager” is a dashboard that allows the different actors to control in real time the location of the vehicles, whether they are cars or scooters. This makes it easier to mark obstructing vehicles and to quickly notify operators in case of a problem. With this dashboard, it is faster to assess the supply and demand for mobility and improve urban planning based on the data. Municipalities can quickly update and inform mobility operators of the different regulations, whether temporary or permanent.
Thanks to the data that Vianova aggregates, it is possible for its customers to access data from several mobility players. The goal : To easily integrate them into its solution. Thus, micro-mobility actors can exploit this data to improve their offers. This data can also be used to promote intermodality.
A growing company
After raising €1.8 million from the RATP in December 2020, the company intends to go international. And it has done so ! Since the company has several offices abroad in addition to the Paris office: Berlin, Zurich, London and Barcelona. Its clients already include cities such as Milan, Helsinki and Brussels and operators such as Lime, Bolt and Share Now.
If the company is already present in Europe, it intends to develop elsewhere. Its first destination would be South America, where it would have found its first customers. But the company is also looking at the United States and Australia. But according to the CEO, it is important to have teams on site, so that the staff can be in direct contact with the municipal officials. For the time being, the company is planning a Series A funding round during 2021.
You really have to know very well the market context, specifically working with governments. It’s very important to get real trust relationshipsTHIBAULT CASTAGNE, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF VIANOVA. FOR FORBES.