Interview with Paulin Dementhon, Founder & CEO of Drivy - Disrupting the automotive industry

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.

“How can I act as a role model for innovation to inspire others?, “How can leadership create conditions to drive true innovation in complex organizations?” and “What are the innovation strategies of leading corporations?”—these are the key questions we will discuss on our 4th  Future of Leadership Initiative Conference from February 28th and March 1st.

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.


The 4th edition of the Future of Leadership Conference

In this interactive event, top executives, smart start-up entrepreneurs and young talents will get connected and explore future trends and new methods at the intersection of leadership and innovation.

Location: Castle Tutzing (Lake Starnberg).

Goal: Strengthen the participants’ power to enable visionary ideas and projects and reaching their best business results as a leader in times of digitalization. Learn more


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.



Drivy in 10 years from now

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.).”

Copyright: Drivy


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.





Sources: Pictures & Video from Drivy

Paulin Dementhon, CEO and Founder of Drivy

About the interviewee: 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.

About the author: Stella Veneziano

Currently doing her Masters at EMLyon Business School, Stella Veneziano is a curious and open-minded person who is particularly passionnate about social innovation. As Global Operations Manager at the NGO Ampion for instance, she fully organized the "Venture Bus" tours through several African regions, a 7-day incubation program for entrepreneurs. Today, she is responsible for the Future of Leadership Initiative, whose aim to foster inspiring leadership.

Go back