Moovel’s Accelerator Seeks Mobility Aggregator Startups

Moovel — Daimler AG’s mobility unit platform with an integrated booking and payment system for mobility services — is looking to support up to six startups through its accelerator MobilityX, Auto Finance News has learned.

MobilityX is comprised of three parts — an education outreach, bi-monthly meetups, and an accelerator. The education outreach and meetups began in the spring, including programs like a blockchain Hackathon in May and a “Mobility Coalition” meeting that was sponsored by MobilityX at its office in Austin, Sam Marshall, director of innovation management at MobilityX, told AFN.

The accelerator portion has yet to sign on any startups but has honed in on the types of companies it wants to accept for its three-to-six-month program.

“I’m not looking for autonomous vehicle driving software or a carshare or rideshare app,” Marshall said. “What I’m looking for are tech platforms or apps that support all these mobility services that have emerged over the last eight years.”

The reason for this, according to Marshall, is that the major players have already been established in AVs and transit, but there are still “kinks” that need to be worked out by technology in order to make the services more efficient and bring them under one umbrella so they are accessible to people of all economic classes. But arriving at the accelerator’s focus was a challenge, he said, because there is so much happening in the mobility space that it creates a kind of paradox of choice and each area of mobility has its own offshoot.

“The blockchain Hackathon [for example] — we are still developing ideas out of that,” he said. “Do we focus on blockchain? Yes, maybe so. But there’s also artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality — and all these emerging verticals have all these different offshoots,” he said.

In addition to promoting MobilityX and adding companies to the accelerator’s portfolio, the company’s top priority for the year is to develop several proof-of-concepts — meaning miniature pilots that demonstrate whether or not a particular solution is achievable and scalable, he said. “I’d like to develop a few proof-of-concepts because it helps legitimize what we are doing,” Marshall added.

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