Interview with Matteo Forte, CEO of SWITCH

Interview with Matteo Forte, CEO of SWITCH

June 16, 2022 By Rosy Chianese

Interview with Matteo Forte, CEO of SWITCH, the startup dedicated to the optimization of urban mobility.

Fleets are unquestionably the main factor of all companies. Minimizing these costs will certainly have a significant impact on profitability and smart fleet management is one of the best ways to address this issue. The so-called shared mobility is today a very debated issue in the field of transport and is one of the solutions suggested by the European Commission to orient mobility towards greater sustainability. Today we will talk about SWITCH, the online platform dedicated to the optimization of urban mobility.

What’s SWITCH

SWITCH is a technology platform based on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence that allows you to increase the profitability of your shared fleet.

SWITCH processes the available data and integrates it into a wider process that takes into account a lot of context information, which affects user behavior in order to suggest the best fleet distribution. It works in the service area to meet the expected demand for mobility in the near future.

To deepen the theme related to this innovative startup we interviewed the CEO, Matteo Forte.

Hi Matteo, thank you so much for this opportunity. It is really a pleasure to meet you. Tell us more about SWITCH. How and when was the idea born?

SWITCH was born in August 2021 from a pivot, from February 2020 in fact we were working on a different business idea, abandoned because of COVID’s situation. During the comparisons, carried out in that difficult period, with many operators of shared mobility, some rather relevant problems emerged. Problemas that the team has chosen to resolve, such as the distribution of shared fleets and the prioritization of maintenance operations.

We found these problems difficult, compelling, with a resolution that can give a strong boost to the spread of shared mobility. For this reason we decided to build a product that will solve them.

How did you launch your startup? Did you use crowdfunding campaigns?

Until now, we have collected private investments from MobilityUP, the company founded by Ludovico Maggiore and his associates to invest in high-potential startups that operate in mobility and through the Berkeley Skydeck acceleration program that we are conducting in these last few months. Finally, we used the grants to support our investments in R&D, we received it in particular from lventure Group (at the end of Urban Tech Worklab, pre-acceleration path) and from public funds, mainly European.

Working in the B2B sector, we believe that attracting institutional and industrial investors is the best option to have, in addition to finance, the expertise and contacts that SWITCH needs. For these reasons, at least at this stage, we exclude the use of equity crowdfunding.

What products does the platform offer?

SWITCH consists of 3 modules:

  • Business intelligence: is the basis one, a module that allows customers to explore their historical datasets by providing key insights that allow them to measure their results. Currently this module is provided free of charge for a certain period of time to companies entering our partner program.
  • Fleet rebalancing: is the module that, using AI/ML, suggests how to reposition fleet vehicles to better meet the expected demand for mobility in the following hours.
  • Maintenance prioritization: provides decision support to understand what maintenance actions (replenishment, refilling, repairs, …) to do first and what to do next, based on expected cost and profitability.

How does SWITCH help the business of different mobility service providers?

Shared Mobility Providers, be it scooter sharing, car sharing, moped sharing or other, have two important problems to solve:

  1. Customers, once they use the vehicles, leave them in the city at random. These vehicles are often repositioned so that they can be re-booked quickly by new users, increasing the revenue of the provider. 
  2. Daily, these vehicles need to be serviced: battery replacement, charging, refueling and cleaning are just some of the tasks that need to be carried out. Often, you do not have time to do all the actions that should be done and you have to make, therefore, choices. Our platform is able to suggest which actions to take and which not according to the constraints imposed, taking into account the costs and profitability associated with the operation.

Objectives for the future?

At the moment we have two key goals to achieve in the coming weeks: launch the public beta of our platform and close the first contracts. Once these goals are achieved, we will open a new investment round.

Fun fact: what are the main problems of users who use the car sharing service?

Beyond the technical problems that people may encounter in the operation of applications and vehicles, I would say that the fundamental problems are:

1) finding a vehicle available that is close enough when you need it 

2) finding a vehicle that is in good condition, clean and with a sufficient level of charge or refueling for the journey you intend to face.

Credits: 

https://getswitch.io/

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