Daimler continues to make progress with its transition to becoming a mobility services company rather than simply a car producing company.
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Daimler, the German car giant that owns Mercedes-Benz among among other brands, has made a further acquisition in the ride sharing market providing further insight into how it sees the future of how cars will be owned and used. The company recently announced its acquisition of Flinc, a start-up also based in Germany that has built a platform and app for peer-to-peer-style carpooling. The value of the deal has not been made public.
Daimler Mobility Services, the division that has made all of Daimler’s recent acquisitions, says that the deal is part of Daimler’s strategy to
“transition from being an automobile manufacturer to a mobility services provider.”
Flinc which exists as a standalone app but is also integrated into other services, such as larger enterprise’s company apps for carpooling, will continue to operate independently.
Founded in 2010, Flinc previously raised an undisclosed amount of money from a group of investors that included Deutsche Bahn, General Motors Ventures and Ecomobility Ventures.
The company’s model is simple: people who are driving in one direction find people who are looking to go in the same direction and offer them rides, with the subsequent deal either negotiated in cash or simple done for free.
A large part of Flinc’s technology involves smart navigation: it works out your route from A to B, and then the route for individuals looking for rides, and then it matches them up, serving options between potential pairs only one at a time to avoid double-booking and confusion. Some 500,000 people have used the service to date.
The deal, as we have noted here on numerous occasions, is a good indication about where the major German car manufacturers see the future of the car business, i.e. as mobility services companies.
The ‘mobility’ business can be understood as an entire range of diverse functions which are add-on businesses for their production vehicles.
“Transport options are just as varied as the mobility demands of our customers. Whether flexible car-sharing, ride-hailing or door-to-door ride-sharing, with our mobility services, we are able to provide the ideal solution,”
said Jörg Lamparter, head of Mobility Services at Daimler, in a statement.
With Flinc, we are taking on an extremely well-coordinated team that brings valuable experience in the field of short-distance ride-sharing.”
Recent investments by the company have included putting $60 million into quick-charging battery startup Storedot, $250 million into Via, a shuttle-based ridesharing company, and investments into Careem, Blacklane, FlixBus and Turo. Other acquisitions include car2go and mytaxi.