Startup scene: Bringing e-scooter rentals to Italy’s Amalfi Coast

Joyride Scooter Rental Italy

Italy’s Amalfi Coast is home to everything under the sunbeaches, hotels, seaside cuisine, and now, thanks to Elettrify, an entire scooter-rental system. 

Launched last month, Elettrify is the first electric scooter-sharing company to officially lay ground in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Even with a smaller pool of international visitors than years past, the region has welcomed Elettrify with larger-than-expected numbers when it comes to ridership and trip durations. The company’s CEO Alessandro Tordi and COO Angelo Zylyftari tell us how they’ve successfully launched a scooter share during these times, and how software has enabled them to have a smooth start. 

What was the inspiration behind launching Elettrify?

Angelo Zylyftari: It all started when I met Alessandro while on holiday in Rome. We’re both Italian but live in London, England. We’re also both entrepreneurs and wanted to build a shared mobility company under a B2B model that would provide vehicles through hotels and resorts. While we initially thought of starting our business with tap bikes, since my background is in bike design, we quickly switched to electric scooters due to them being so popular in Italy right now. We then reached out to Joyride to get our rider app established and our backend operations in place. The final piece was striking a deal with the Italian National Tourism Organization, which allowed us to be the first to launch in the Amalfi district (home to Postinao, Praiano Beach, Vietri on the Sea, Amalfi, Minors and Maiori). 

Why was now the time to launch a scooter-share business, amid lifting lockdowns in Italy?

Alessandro Tordi: There’s an electric scooter boom happening in Italy right now. City officials have praised scooters as being environmentally friendly and safe ways to travel around as people avoid public transit, and the Italian government is even offering people subsidies of €500 to purchase a bike or scooter. From a business perspective, the ease of deploying scooters is so appealing. You just buy the hardware (in our case the Segway KickScooter MAX) with the IoT included, and that syncs to the user app, which Joyride created for us very quickly. The launch process is much cheaper than we expected, too, with minimal capital outlay. 

How does your model work and how has it been received so far? 

AZ: Through our arrangement with the tourist district, our scooters are placed in front of select chain hotels and stores. People rent Elettrify scooters directly from these spots and return them afterward, so it’s not a dockless model. This increases security because vendors always know where the vehicles are picked up and dropped off. Being the only rental company in Amalfi, we’re already seeing more utilization than industry averages. So far, the average spend per trip is €9 (three times the industry standard), and trip lengths are approximately one hour. Most of our riders are renting scooters for leisure use, rather than for quick commutes, so this increases trip duration.   

How, as a local startup, are you already making your mark in a competitive industry? 

AT: Being an Italian-born company has been very beneficial. We’re a small brand in a big global industry. The government picked us to launch scooters in Amalfi because we’re a local startup, and with young minds behind it. The region views us with a friendly perspective, and we have our own niche target market of municipalities and B2B hotels and resorts. There’s room for local businesses to grow here. 

How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted the Amalfi region and your launch there?

AT: While usually a global hotspot for travelers, Amalfi is now mainly visited by domestic tourists. In fact, 60% of tourists are usually from the U.S. and Canada, but that’s not happening right now. The economic climate is different, but there are still visitors and locals who want ways to get around their towns. So our launch has been welcomed from a business standpoint. With regards to keeping things safe, our partnering hotels and stores wipe down each vehicle between use. And we will send in-app reminders to our riders to sanitize their hands before and after their trips. 

How has technology enabled you to run your operations?

AZ: Joyride’s software platform lets us manage our business remotely from Rome and London. Through the backend dashboard, we see any vehicle that’s not parked in its designated area, and then we can call the hotels to handle things instantly. We also view and analyze data to see where to put our vehicles for maximum use. Once, after a single rebalancing to be closer to the seaside, we saw 200% more revenue due to a simple relocation. Also helping to boost revenue is the app’s promotions feature, which will allow us to send out day passes and tie in giveaways with local businesses. Especially in a tourist destination, that’s a big draw for everyone. 

To learn more about how Joyride’s software and micromobility consulting services are helping startups like Elettrify transform their cities, contact our sales team today.

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