Earlier this year BMW and Daimler announced a joint effort in the field of smart urban mobility under the name of FreeNow. This new app allows users to call a car and get to their destination in a similar fashion to what Uber and Lyft have been offering for quite some time now. The business has been pretty profitable so far and thus the two German giants announced they are aiming for twice the revenue cashed in over 2019 next year.
According to their estimates, FreeNow revenue for the entire year of 2019 should add up to 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in 2019. Doubling that will require some serious efforts but, according to Chief Executive Officer Marc Berg, the company is growing at a fast pace and that should be doable. Speaking to Bloomberg, Berg admitted it’s an ambitious plan but, according to him, it’s doable, considering the rapid expansion the company is going through.
At the moment, FreeNow is available in 130 cities in Europe and Latin America and, according to the company, it is already profitable in more than half of them. “It’s a very regional business since regulation varies a lot from city to city, and our focus is to constantly work with local authorities to build mutual trust,” Berg said.
“It’s about sustainable growth, and not about growth at all cost.” This is what separates FreeNow from other companies as Uber and other ride-sharing apps have been under heavy scrutiny lately for a variety of reasons, most of them related to safety issues.
Unlike its rivals, FreeNow requires the drivers to show up in person at one of their offices before they are accepted on the platform along with criminal record checks.
Furthermore, FreeNow offers more than just ride-hailing. Users can also get private-hire services, car sharing, micromobility options like e-scooters and even public transport indications in some cities.