#yourmobilityvision interview:
Ruben van Soest, Head of EU Expansion, Karhoo

May we introduce: 

Our series #yourmobilityvision.


#yourmobilityvision is about showing what the mobility of the future looks like by introducing all those companies that are working on it. 


In our first interview we are talking to Ruben van Soest, Head of EU Expansion at Karhoo. 


What is your company’s vision and how do you embrace it in your everyday doing?

Karhoo’s motto is “mobility for everyone, with everyone”. And what we mean by that is we want to make all existing mobility providers, such as traditional taxi and private hire fleets, easily accessible to the maximum number of travellers via the websites and apps that they frequently use. So we’re not a new competitor in the mobility space; we’re a technology and business enabler, creating a bridge between existing local providers and global brands and delivering benefits for both sides.


What is the core business of your company?

Karhoo has developed a SaaS platform connecting the websites and the mobiles apps of demand partners with large client bases with various ride dispatch systems (DMS) used by thousands of fleets around the world. This creates a mobility marketplace where end-clients can request rides and select from fleets offering their price and service in real time. The solution also deals with payment and financial flows between all involved parties. We value automation and scalability.


What is special about your company? 

We have developed a network of partners and a stack of technology that benefit the whole industry. Brand partners can improve their user experience by embedding mobility into their offering. For example, Thalys are selling transfers to/from the station bundled with their tickets on, and SNCF, Fareportal, Ctrip, Appart’City have launched similar services. On their side, local fleets such as get an opportunity to sell their service on the most popular ecommerce platforms and apps in the world. Our open, transparent business model and technological framework make mobility more accessible to all. We don’t see ourselves as fierce disruptors, more as consensual enablers. Karhoo is focussing on helping taxi and private hire fleets get more business from new digital channels owned by powerful brands aggregating millions of potential passengers. Creating new revenue opportunities through connected business is particularly important for a strong post-covid rebound that is highly expected as soon as a vaccine has been distributed. It also allows local fleets to compete against larger players using marketing and technology to disrupt their industry.


What is the impact you would like to have on the mobility of the future?

We foresee a future where existing mobility providers are seamlessly embedded into more enjoyable client experiences: door-to-door journeys including transfers synched up with plane and train timetables, travel companion apps allowing to book and hail rides from your hotel, restaurants organising a chauffeur to pick you up whenever it’s time and bring you back home safe after dinner. We want every fleet to be part of the “experience economy”, not just fully integrated dominant players. That’s what we call “mobility for everyone, with everyone”!

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