Horizons Newsletter – week 42 // 2021
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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The mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) concept has been around since 2006, but even today the number of operational initiatives is limited and the concept is still surrounded by a high degree of ambiguity. Nevertheless, several core characteristics are clear. MaaS relies on a user-centric digital platform (mobile app or web page) through which end-users have access to multiple transportation modes that are repackaged in bundled services or subscription packages to fit customer demand. Moreover, as the four-level model below demonstrates, MaaS functionality is increasing in sophistication as companies expand their technological capabilities. Today, most MaaS initiatives are functioning somewhere between aggregation (Level 2) and subscription (Level 3). To make MaaS a success, however, adequate (MaaS stimulating) regulation needs to be set in place, so initiatives can reach the fourth level that integrates societal goals into MaaS. Fortunately, governments seem to be more willing to take the necessary steps to move MaaS to the next level as part of stimulus and recovery packages that will help economies out of the Covid-19 crisis and support future-proof digital and green solutions.
Broaden your horizon?
In this section we share content that may be of interest to you:
- Supply chains depend on containers, ports, railroads, warehouses and trucks. Every stage of this international assembly line is breaking down in its own unique way.
- These nine Washington Post charts show where the U.S.-China tech competition is headed.
- In Horizons week 34, we discussed China’s crackdown on tech companies. This long read explains how Apple, after setting a new revenue high in China, could also be hit
MaaS platforms are getting traction
The pandemic has left its mark on the MaaS market, since people stopped traveling almost overnight. As a result, several MaaS providers collapsed. Even before the pandemic, however, MaaS providers faced challenges. Most initiatives are local and still in pilot phase. While usage numbers are sparse, they appear to be low. Moreover, margins are thin since companies only earn a small commission when a commuter uses a specific service, so a high volume of trips is necessary to sustain profitability. Facing these challenges, several MaaS providers decided to change their business model. Instead of providing local MaaS, they shifted to providing a white label technology platform that powers MaaS initiatives. Their strategy appears to have worked. With economies opening up again, MaaS platform companies are receiving fresh funding and winning tenders. Last August, for instance, MaaS Global raised €11 million to expand its platform. Trafi, another MaaS platform, saw a sharp increase in requests from cities edging out of lockdown. Combined with more favorable regulation (as described above), MaaS might be on its way to become a viable mobility solution.