How to establish Europe’s biggest car rental marketplace in Europe while redefining urban mobility, and accomplishing innovative leadership? Learn how the French founder and CEO of Drivy quickly achieved his goals and what “Truth Behind Innovation” means to him.
Clearly, one field heavily affected by new, visionary concepts is urban mobility. Therefore, we interviewed a visionary while preparing for the 4th FLI Conference: Among other factors and competitors, start-ups challenge the automotive industry, just like Drivy, founded by Paulin Dementhon. The French entrepreneur and his team offer customers to hire private cars that are parked close by – whenever they need it, all arranged via the innovative online-based tool Drivy.
Driving innovation – the Reason WHY Dementhon founded Drivy
The French entrepreneur was frustrated to see that 95 percent of the time, cars were not used – meanwhile, owning a car becomes increasingly expensive. Dementhon saw a great opportunity there “to foster economic and environmental benefits by creating a shift” by founding Drivy in 2010. The business idea? Establishing “a marketplace that would provide car owners […] with the best solution to rent and earn money from their vehicle while offering to drivers the convenience to rent a car whenever and wherever they need one at an affordable price”, Dementhon explains. Seven years later, Drivy has become the leading car rental marketplace in Europe (exclusively online), with more than 1.5 million users and 50.000 private cars on the platform across six countries.
Our vision is and has always been to positively impact urban mobility and environment. As smart technology increases the use of shared mobility services, we are beginning to see a cultural shift away from car ownership towards access for mobility on demand and this is propelling the demand for solutions like Drivy. I hope that in ten years, Drivy will provide an unrivalled network of shared cars— that may actually be autonomous cars – available on-demand, at every street corner in any major city in Europe but also in other continents.”
Disrupting the future of urban mobility
What is happening today in the automotive industry is as significant as the advent of the car once was.”
Indeed, Paulin Dementhon believes that mobility platforms such as Uber, BlaBlaCar or Drivy are currently disrupting the status quo for the best. The founder of Drivy is convinced that “autonomous vehicles are likely to speed up this movement”, as they “will simplify car and ride sharing practices and open up new opportunities for these platforms”. Time is ripe for a mobility revolution! To quote the scenario Dementhon depicted in our interview regarding the future of urban mobility: The rise of autonomous cars that will become increasingly safer will give momentum to mobility platforms, thanks to reduced cost structures (e.g. insurance fees and more).
Autonomous vehicles will be waiting for them [the users] a few smartphone clicks away, ready to come pick them up and drive them everywhere they want, whenever they want, over short or long distances.[…] mobility platforms will therefore have to adapt to offer the right cars at the right time and the right place. In addition to mutualizing demands in order to optimize vehicles’ trajectories, they will have to offer a real travel experience (a bicycle in the trunk, a ready-made picnic, space for bags, etc.).”
The current industry players are well aware of the nearing change in urban mobility, and are preparing themselves, Dementhon points out. For instance, he evokes General Motors: they invested $500 million US dollars in Lyft and launched their own car sharing service “Maven”. Another example is Chrysler: They partnered with Uber to provide the start-up with autonomous cars which are currently tested in Pittsburg. New competitors are emerging, too: “The so-called GAFAs [Google-Amazon-Facebook-Apple] are also likely to become major players of this industry. The Google Car, the partnership between Fiat Chrysler and Google and Amazon’s self-driving car patent are concrete examples of their interest in the sector.”
At this point, we do not know which part each of these companies will play on the mobility stage. However as Paulin Dementhon mentioned, this market which is worth several thousands of billion dollars will clearly remain a fascinating laboratory for many years to come.
About the FLI Thought Leader Paulin Dementhon
Paulin Dementhon is founder and current CEO of Drivy, the leading car rental marketplace in Europe, with more than 1.5 million users and 50,000 cars on the platform across 6 countries, after 7 years of existence. He is also currently Member of the Board at France Digitale, an organization that brings together the champions of digital entrepreneurship, i.e. start-ups with strong growth plans and potential investors.
Sources: Pictures & Video from Drivy