Interview to Samuel Sed Piazza, country manager of Moovit Italia
7 marzo, 2017
7 marzo, 2017
In a few years Moovit has reached 98 cities and 3,5 millions users in Italy. At global level, its has been implemented in 1200 urban areas with 55 millions users. How was Moovit born? What have been the main steps?
Moovit was founded in 2012 in Israel, in a context very similar to the Silicon Valley, favorable for innovation. At the beginning the testing was limited to Israel, as big as Lazio region is. Then, Moovit has reached some of the biggest cities in the world: New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Sao Paulo. The first real turning point arrived in 2014, when Sequoia Capital decide to fund Moovit with 28 millions dollars. It’s the same company that supported Google, Aruba and Instagram. Since then, things changed: Moovit could finally hire new developers and they increased from 40 to 70. For a start up this is a big step forward and the App has started growing also in Italy. A second turnig point was in 2015 when a group of investors shed 50 millions dollars: there are big names among them such as Keolis, a giant of rail transport, and Bmw. From that moment on, the development of Moovit has been unstoppable: 100 employees, an office also in San Francisco (in addition to the headquarted in Israel); 150 thousand local editors, the so called Mooviters; 200 millions of data points; 1200 cities and 55 millions users in the world.
What was the diktat from the investors?
The key word was growing. At the moment Moovit doesn’t need to make money considering the investments received. We had the input to create the best App available at global level for public transport. And we are making it…
What your business model will be?
We have already started pilots in some countries, focusing on different aspects and looking for the most suitable development in each area. For example, in South America we are focusing on the electronic ticketing. In North America we are working on the integration between public transport, taxis and Uber: this couldn’t be applied to Italy due to the limited number of taxi/Uber. In Italy we are working on the car pooling thank to a recent agreement with the Agency for Mobility of Rome.
Let’s talk about Italy. How did you reach so many cities?
In several cases we have started collaborations and partnerships with the companies for the public transport that supplied teh dta used for the App. Extra data come from the Mooviters. In some cases it has been quite difficult to get data but now companies have understood that we are their partner and that thanks to the App they can fill up the communication gap they had with the user. Moovit is between the company and the user, easing their relationship. This is very clear when the request for Moovit comes right from the users. There is the case of the city of Brescia: a young guy wrote us he wanted the App is his city. The community mapped the city with buses numbers and timetables and we have started the service there!
Did you notice an increase in the use of public transport in the cities where Moovit is implemented?
We cannot say that as we haven’t data available about the previous situation but we can say that the attitude of users towards public transport has changed where Moovit is implemented. With the App is possible to get information on the preferred bus line: ad hoc alerts are sent to the users’ smartphone in case any problem occur and offer concrete alternatives to get to the final destination.
And what do you expect from car pooling in Rome?
The Agency for Mobility of Rome is investing in innovation in a fast and smart way. This is why we managed to launch in Rome, one of the most difficult place in terms of transport, the car pooling service. There is a different App, MoovitCarpooling, registering those people able to offer a ride, while Moovit users will find also car pooling among travel options.
A very sophisticated algorithm determines reimbursements ensuring no profit to those who offer the passage and that cannot use the system for more than two travels a day: we can therefore guarantee that the App is not used to make money but only to share a ride. We started from car pooling to get people closer to public transport: the two first rides are offered by Moovit, people choose each other after consulting Facebook profiles and it is possible to pay only by credit card. It is a way to leave cars at home and experience an intermodal trip by using car pooling and public transport. We are creating a new mode of transport.
What do you think about Mobility as a Service?
We are following that direction: to revolutionise the urban mobility offering other services to community.
What kind of technologues do your use for the App?
We developed our technology in house, and for the maps we used the technology from open streetmap.
Who is Samuel Sed Piazza Born in 1984, Samuel graduated in Economics at the University of Roma Tre with a degree in Marketing on “Case Groupon” and received his Masters in Mobile Marketing at the University La Sapienza. He was a finalist for the 2009/2010 of the National Marketing Award promoted by SIM (Italian Marketing Company). Since then, he decided to totally dedicate to marketing and communication. He spent one year in Israel, where he studied management and organization of non-profit organizations. He is a contributor of Ninja Marketing, the blog for the Mobile Marketing and new technologies. He worked in a communication agency as a social media and marketing specialist. Since 2013 he is the Country Manager Moovit in Italy, where he is engaged in business development on the territory.
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