Bryan Garnier was pleased to host an exclusive mobility-focused event in partnership with Zag Daily in Mayfair, London on 18th April 2024.

The event aimed to address a central question: how to crack profitability in new mobility. In an era where numerous new mobility companies face financial challenges, including prominent names such as VanMoof, CAKE, Superpedestrian, Cityscoot, and Bird, the discussion on profitability resonated deeply.

Bryan Garnier and Zag Daily align in their shared mindset and network, both united by their dedication to driving forward the narrative of sustainable mobility innovation and growth.

Florent Roulet, Partner and Head of Mobility at Bryan Garnier, highlighted the urgency of the profitability conversation in a recent interview with Zag Daily. “Profitability is the topic that every investor is talking about…” he emphasised. “I just want to squash this narrative as there are actually some brilliant business models – look at Beryl or Vapaus.”

The discussion delved into the nuances of profitability, attractive business models, and the setbacks associated with hardware investment in the new mobility sector.

Ben Hubbard from Zag Daily provided an introduction, followed by a keynote from Florent Roulet, setting the stage for the expert panel discussion on the following three topics:

What does being profitable actually mean, and what metrics are investors really looking for?

The discussion began around various aspects of profitability within the mobility sector. The significance of sustainable positive CM2 profit and organic growth was underscored, as well as EBITDA, net profit, and cash generation, with particular attention paid to challenges encountered by asset-based businesses. Financial self-sustainability and the evolving landscape of micromobility were also emphasised, pushing for a collaboration between investors and companies. Profitability on a global scale was deemed vital along with aggressive expansion strategies, and the evolving expectations around profitability from both boards and investors calls for adaptation to meet these changing demands.

What is deemed an attractive business model?

The success of B2G shared mobility was highlighted with a focus on long-term contracts and differentiated growth strategies. Another strategy that was highlighted was transitioning from online to offline partnerships for profitability. Overall, there was an emphasis on the importance of increasing ride volume, healthy fulfilment, and efficiency for profitability, not forgetting to advocate for long-term partnerships. The audience were urged to pick their battles in terms of expansion – either by product range, vertical integration or by geography.

Why has hardware become such a ‘Hard Sell’ to investors?

Hardware-based businesses are facing many challenges, so it is important to focus on the distribution model. UK-specific funding challenges were also considered a setback, despite advancements in hardware technology and improvements in repair rates. While hardware has slim margins and long lead times, the overarching conclusion was a sense of confidence in the industry’s maturation. The main takeaway was to be transparent with investors by really selling what the business has to offer along with the main challenges that could be faced.

A big thank you to our expert panel for providing their multifaceted insights:

Shelley Hutchinson, Chief Finance Officer, Beryl

Adam Norris, CEO & Founder, Pure Electric

Agustin Guilisasti, CEO & Founder, Forest

Lukas Neckermann, Co-founder, InterMobility

Stella Penso, Mobility Advisor