“The company that provides the software and the company that uses the software are on the same boat. Both can move forward only with the same understanding,” says Milad Mahmoudyan. Last autumn he launched his e-scooter sharing business Qick in two mid-sized cities in Sweden. Milad recalls that he nearly missed the opportunity to be the first to enter the market due to an unsuccessful collaboration with another software provider, but then he found Atom Mobility.
Launch date: November 2019
Country: Sweden, four cities
Fleet: few hundreds of Segway Max scooters and few hundreds of ACTON scooters
Web page: https://www.qickscooters.com
When everything was nearly set up, problems with the trackers started to appear. “Luckily, we started to have issues before the launch – we could not integrate the hardware with the software. We had a setting in the configuration that caused a lot of headaches. It was not working as it should. We knew that we had competitors coming in, so we had to be the first in the city. With the help from Atom Mobility, we managed to launch before them,” explains Milad. “It took us three days of onboarding. We are probably still the fastest launch that Atom Mobility has had so far.”
A Strong Belief in Shared Mobility Drives the Business
Milad also has another business, but he always believed in shared mobility, so he decided to create the Qick platform: “Originally, we thought of establishing a cab company, but we knew that the electric scooter sharing service will eventually come to the city which would affect our business. It is just a better way of transportation than a standard taxi. So, we started to look at how we could be in front of this movement instead of being affected by it.”
Milad invested money from his existing business and took out a loan. He was not afraid as he considered it to be a safe investment. Milad says that among younger people the demand to have their own car or even use a cab is decreasing significantly. They require other means of transportation. They are looking for solutions that are super easy and fun. And now it is hard to find better transportation than the electric scooter. “Especially downtown, an electric scooter is faster and more fun to drive. Otherwise, people must drive a car, pay for parking, and sit in traffic jams. You can avoid all of that by using an electric scooter. People get this and are increasingly using scooters,” observes Milad.
Even during the pandemic, there was a proper demand for electric scooters in the city. Qick felt the decline in rides for the first two weeks after everything started to go into lockdown. They kept scooters outside as there were people that preferred to use them: “People always had disinfection liquids with them. We also paid special attention to the disinfection of handlebars. In a few weeks, everything proceeded as usual. Mainly because people saw e-scooters as a better option than riding on public transport,” concludes Milad.
The Advantage of Being Small
Quick is currently a team of six people operating in four mid-sized Swedish cities. They have one big competitor, but Milad says that sometimes being small is a competitive advantage: “The main difference between Qick and the big player in the market is that we are a local company here in the city. Big companies do not necessarily value day to day work. A small company like us puts a lot of effort into solving everyday issues. By that, I mean relocating and keeping track of electric scooters. We are constantly able to deploy at hotspots because we are familiar with the city. Also, Qick focuses a lot on customer support, service, and helping out when something is not working but it should.”
Milad’s advice for other electric scooter service providers who are willing to start their own businesses is to pay attention to the quality of vehicles. This is important as they should be able to serve long term. And customers appreciate the comfort and quality that reflects the service provider’s attitude towards them.
All Sharing Options on One Platform
What about expansion plans? Milad is willing to continue what he has started and even come back to the idea of cabs. The only difference is that he would like to exclusively work with electric vehicles in his fleet. Atom Mobility software will also allow him to integrate other means of transportation into an app, so in terms of the software, he will not require any additional investments.
“Another important aspect regarding Atom Mobility is their understanding of the business. If they help their partners grow, this will be also their opportunity to develop and grow. I saw this immediately after the first few minutes of talking to the company’s CEO Artur Burnins. They really value their customers and see potential in every cooperation. Atom Mobility is constantly working on new functions and features. We have not even mentioned that we need them, but they develop solutions. It is also good that we can ask them for additional functions and features that we would like to offer to our end users,” says Milad.
Together, Qick and Atom Mobility have built a strong business partnership. Both companies plan to continue expanding and developing their services by providing even more convenient ways in which people can enjoy shared mobility.