There are around 58,000 scooters and mopeds in Amsterdam, of which 108 are owned by felyx. These e-scooters quietly and cleanly trundle through Amsterdam. Young urban professionals, students, and independent contractors alike are eagerly making use of this new mobility concept, devised by Dutch entrepreneurs Quinten Selhorst (CEO) and Maarten Poot (COO).
Every felyx scooter is used multiple times each day, and demand is currently exceeding supply. Grabbing a felyx is quicker and cheaper than travelling through the city by car or taxi. It will take you exactly where you want to and you avoid the nuisance of finding a parking space. Quinten: “This concept is rich in potential, but accelerating our growth is capital intensive.”
What exactly is felyx?
“Felyx offers shared electric scooters charging €0,30 per minute. There are felyx scooters scattered across the service area, and parking within this area is free of charge. Using the felyx app allows you to find, reserve, and activate the nearest e-scooter. Felyx is similar to car2go: it’s a fast, efficient and sustainable way of moving around the city and covering that troublesome last mile.”
What prompted you to start felyx?
“Cities are becoming increasingly dense and busy. The UN has stated that by 2050 6,3 billion people will be living in cities: that is 60 percent of the global population. A transition towards sustainable, shared transportation is desperately needed to alleviate the immense pressure on our environment and public space. That is our why, that is what motivates us.”
When did you know felyx was economically viable?
“In February 2017, when we collected our first funding by three informal investors. Their belief and trust in our concept and team emboldened us to such an extent that we started our pilot in July 2017. The three angel-investors — one of whom is Anne-Marie Rakhorst— were solid proof to us that felyx had a future.”
You took part in the Last Mile Challenge (LMC) at the Accenture Innovation Awards. Looking back, how did that benefit you?
“At the LMC during the Accenture Innovation Awards, we used felyx to cross the distance between Maarssen station and De Fabrique. Visitors could make use of our e-scooters. It was a great example of last miles our target audience encounters in big cities: a distance that’s too far by foot, too short to go by car, and no public transportation in sight. The LMC elicited many positive reactions and especially raised awareness.”
How large is your service area at this point??
“We cover a large portion of Amsterdam: the city center, South and the Zuidas, and also some parts in the Eastern and Western section of the city. You can use felyx in all these sections. Also, scooters with less than 20 percent battery left automatically disappear from the app. A new battery is put in at night, fully powered by Dutch wind power.”
What are your expectations for your participation in the AIA18? What made you decide to register?
“We hope to do better than the AIA17, when we didn’t make it past the first round. We had only just started our app and have made tremendous progress since then. Participating in events like the AIA is good for felyx. It provides a podium to expound our vision, to converse with mobility experts, captains of industry, policy-makers, jury members, and the press.”
What are the challenges facing felyx?
“Something we already knew: that our concept is capital intensive. An e-scooter costs around six thousand euros. That means growth and our fleet of scooters are at odds. Maintaining a balance between costs, availability, the number of e-scooters, and the range of our service area, is challenging. Continuing our growth means we will spend large sums of money. We are currently weighing all our options.”
What trends in felyx’s market place do you expect to see in the years to come?
“Cities are expanding and becoming more crowded. This means public and shared transportation will become more important in our future. Whereas public transportation is a city’s aorta, the last mile solutions are its capillaries. All over the world, cities are trying to find places for these kinds of solutions: how will people travel those last two, three, four kilometers in the city? ‘Quickly grabbing a felyx’ will become more and more common.”
What is your golden advice for entrepreneurs?
“Incentivize your business. An organization is like a sports team: everybody needs to pursue the same goal, be familiar with each other’s responsibility and be prepared to go the extra mile for your coworkers. This means we all drink champagne together when things go right, and everybody feels the pain when things go wrong. “