Shared Mobility in an untapped Market
ekar is a rapidly growing shared mobility operator that offers carsharing in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Their goal is to establish shared mobility as a viable alternative to vehicle ownership and car rentals.
As the United Arab Emirates’ first carsharing service, ekar was designed to eliminate common pain points such as high ownership costs and inconvenient rental processes. With a growing demand for more flexible options, founder Vilhelm Hedberg and his business partner Ravi Bhusari knew there was untapped potential for shared mobility in the Gulf region.
A Robust All-in-One Solution
In 2013, Hedberg and Bhusari started developing their plan to bring shared mobility into the UAE. They knew that the hardware and software they chose needed to give them a solid foundation to introduce a new way of getting around. In order to gain acceptance of shared mobility in their new market, Hedberg and Bhusari knew it was critical for the service to be user-friendly and run seamlessly. They discussed their needs with a range of technology providers, and each had their strengths. However, they found the features INVERS offered would best help them launch and scale their carsharing operations. With the Shared Mobility OS selected, they were ready to bring ekar to the Middle East.
High Scalability with a Flexible Solution
The ekar founders were attracted to the Shared Mobility OS full-stack option, a proven solution that already operates carsharing solutions worldwide. The back-end system allowed them to build an operating model that is proven to work, but they were also able to tailor the solution to their unique market needs, such as focusing on enhanced security measures. In addition, the 99.9% service delivery INVERS was ready to support as a minimum requirement was perfectly aligned to the demands of consumers and local government entities. With the iBoxx hardware installed in vehicles and an INVERS-built app ready for customers, ekar launched in 2016.
With the Smart Mobility OS, ekar built their carsharing service on a flexible solution that offers a robust service, state-of-the-art instant reservations and Bluetooth-enabled technology. By using the highly customizable white label solution offered by INVERS, ekar’s vehicles can be found and booked via a mobile app or the website. Booking is available on demand or up to 4 days in advance.
“When new requirements come up from various governing bodies on API linking, new security protocols, etc., we can make the needed changes easily. If we can’t do it ourselves, the INVERS tech team is just an email or call away for a solution.”
– Vilhelm Hedberg
Ready For More
ekar launched with 35 cars in Abu Dhabi in 2016, and has since grown internationally. Today, with over 500 cars, they are Middle East’s largest shared mobility operator that provides flexible mobility solutions to private users and corporate customers alike. Over the course of 2018, ekar will reach over 1,500 cars throughout the Gulf.
CEO Vilhelm Herdberg’s goals are ambitious: his vision is to help mobilize the masses and for carsharing users to outnumber private car owners in the Gulf region by 2025. For that, they see INVERS as their perfect partners: “The leadership team at ekar strongly believes that INVERS is a reliable partner who will support ekar’s growth. Our symbiotic business relationship is a winning model to help us scale up. INVERS is always there. The ekar tech team can rest easy knowing that INVERS is always there to support.”