The company's on-demand technology ride-sharing service aims to bring the service level of public transport to non-urban areas as well as providing a service that supports public transport in the cities.
- There is a big market share battle going on as private operators try to reach the people who have been customers of traditional public transport. Our major market is in providing the traditional operators with the tools they need to respond to the technology challenge, says Kyyti's CEO Pekka Möttö, who previously revolutionized the Finnish transport services market as the founder and CEO of Onnibus.
Founded in 2015 under the name Tuup, Kyyti has been involved in numerous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) projects. Kyyti's taxi ride-sharing app was selected as the Best Mobile App in Finland in 2017 in the Utility and Infotainment category. The company's technology also has been utilized in Sitra's Kyläkyyti project, which experimented with new ways of organizing mobility services in sparsely populated areas, and in the Harkkakyydit service designed to help families to transport kids to sports and hobby activities. In January 2020, Kyyti was part of the KaikkiKyytiin team led by The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) which won a nationwide competition organised by the Association of Finnish Local Municipalities to renew rural transport.
Kyyti is currently working with Finnish company Matkahuolto on what is probably the world’s first nationwide MaaS solution, which will be launched soon.
- In the initial stage, the service is about travel chains; in other words connecting inter-city traffic to intra-urban public transport. It represents a shift from 'city-to-city' to 'door-to-door' thinking also between cities. The aim is also to add other forms of transportation to the same platform, Möttö explains.
However, it is the global markets that offer the best opportunities for growth. Kyyti's most high-profile international project is the Kollibri service implemented with Swiss Post's subsidiary PostBus, an intra-city transport service based on taxi ridesharing. Kyyti and DemandTrans from Chicago won a tender for developing the transportation system of the city of Nashville and have since expanded their cooperation to new cities in the United States. In Summer 2020, a citywide MaaS service linking public transport to other existing mobility services will be launched in the Swedish city of Linköping.
Kyyti also leads the Smart Mobility Ecosystem Growth engine funded by Business Finland. Growth engines are business ecosystems aiming to create new business activities amounting to more than one billion euros, implemented through a partnership model between companies, research organizations and public sector actors. Their goal is to create solutions for global market disruption and new growth areas in Finland.
- Business Finland's role is quite decisive. The entire Finnish IT system is in one way or another dealing with Business Finland. Overcoming the initial pitfalls for a company like ours while keeping the ownership in Finland is impossible without Business Finland. The growth engine has been a game changer for us, it still gives us opportunities to focus 100% on internationalization under Finnish ownership, says Möttö.
He views Business Finland’s networking role as even more critical.
- In the Japanese market, for example, we have significant partnerships and opportunities, which have entirely been made possible by the contacts coming from Business Finland. This kind of service from an authoritative actor is crucial in certain markets. Business Finland makes the contact, opens the door and at the same time gives it the stamp of Finnish reliability. No startup would have any chance of pursuing such a market on a large scale without Business Finland's support and network.
In 2018, Kyyti made a strategic decision that the company is a B2B platform operator and will no longer operate in the consumer market. The company's objective now is to move from the project-specific market to become a platform operator focused on Europe, the United States and Japan.
- We strive to gain a foothold and develop good reference cases, but above all, to get as far as possible with technology standardization and the ability to achieve truly global scalability with the help of a variety of partners. Major forces are now on the move because such a large market is changing, and nothing is as important in the market as timing, says Möttö.
According to him, there will continue to be a need for a public body that brings sustainability to mobility in terms of the environment and quality of life, and also ensures access to society for people with disabilities.
Interested in developing or using smart mobility solutions in global business operations? Read more about the Smart Mobility Finland program's innovation funding and internationalization services.
Text: Sami Sallinen