When we first got to the idea of launching the first network of electric mopeds in Poland, many people were shocked and said: "electric mopeds for minutes in Poland!? Not in our climate! This isn't Rome." But we succeeded. After our second season we had over 1000 vehicles and operated in 5 European countries.
We all got together at the Military Academy of Technology in Warsaw where we all studied. We were all living in the same dorm. Paweł studied IT Systems plus Electronics and Telecommunication, Marcin IT Systems, and Kamil Electronics which ended for him with a Ph.D.
Following studies, everyone of us got their first job in corporate companies. The sole idea was Marcin's for whom travelling to work and sticking in traffic really got on his nerves. Instead of complaining he decided to resolve the problem. – Sticking in traffic I started to miss my motorcycle and I thought that many other people who in the very same moment were stuck in their cars would also probably give a lot to be able to get out of there. What if everyone could rent a moped and go wherever he wanted? I thought that this kind of idea would make a business for us – Marcin reminisces. Paweł, being a big enthusiast of two-wheelers and an experienced motorcycle rider, liked the idea from the start and jointly with Kamil started to modify it and adjust to their developing visions. The three of us sat down and wrote a business plan. Without a sponsor as we wanted to remain independent. However, we were lacking money so Marcin took up a loan. It all came down into a logical entirety - mopeds is comfort and speed of transporting, and at the same time safety.
Where did you get the idea for Europe to ride electric mopeds?
System of electric mopeds per minutes is not only a means of fast travelling across a crowded city, but also a lifestyle. We are all tired with crowded streets and many more people are talking more about smog. Our solution is an alternative way to fight unclean air, traffic, and non-optimal urban communication system. We are fighting for smart city!
From an idea to a business plan
– It is possible to count costs and potential profits, but if you start something new you never know how potential users will approach it. We didn't have any choice but to simply execute our idea, put it to use, and see what happens – Marcin says. Our friends, both business and private, were open with their criticism telling us our idea is not serious and very risky as Polish people are not ready for mopeds per minutes. – But we were stubborn thinking that nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We decided to build our business from the scratch i.e. assemble the scooters ourselves first for Warsaw habitants to ride on. Kamil designed and constructed the electronics, he established also the mobile app model that was to handle the whole mopeds' renting process. We simply wanted to have full impact on functionality of current and future mopeds. - We didn't have time to find some special place for the assembly work, hence to our wifes' despair we decided to have the assembly line in Paweł's house, even though it didn't have anything to do with an assembly line - Marcin jokes. Our company located five out of six mopeds on Warsaw streets exactly on the 8th of March, 2017. What happened with the sixth moped? One of the founders was cleaning the vehicle late at night, just before the morning premiere. Unfortunately, he didn't notice that it was turned on and unintentionally accelerated. The moped stopped at a nearby beacon. It's renovation took one week. - Fortunately, now we tell this story as a company anecdote - Marcin says.
We started our services on March 8th in 2017 in Warsaw. On that day 5 mopeds went out to the streets of Warsaw.
After 3 months, when it turned out that Warsaw citizens want to and know how to ride the scooters, their number increased from 6 to 50 pieces. We observed how those vehicles work in action and what is their weakest link. It turned out the problem does not lay in e.g. mopeds' accidents, but mostly in poor quality of parts which had to be serviced a lot. – I think we didn't anticipate such interest in mopeds - this was our mistake. We couldn't wait. We agreed that we need to separate and that Paweł will look for suppliers and at the same time I went to Belgium to look for partners in other countries – Marcin Maliszewski says.
After one year the company had ca. 1000 mopeds. They themselves own only 60 of them - the rest is owned by partners or investors who buy mopeds and give them to blinkee.city for management and in exchange get profits - we opted for this business model as we wanted to maximise the fleet's expansion. Now we operate in a couple of dozen cities both in Poland and abroad, in Valencia or Budapest. However, we want still want more as the electromobility topic indulged us completely. It turned out the this sector has an enormous potential - Marcin Maliszewski says. You can ride blinkee.city mopeds in Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław, or Cracow, but also in smaller towns such as Ostrów Mazowiecka. Our services are available also abroad: in Budapest (Hungary), Split (Croatia), Valencia (Spain), and Stockholm (Sweden). In 2019 we will be entering new countries and cities. We are also planning a new type of vehicle. We are continuing to develop our app and electronics in our vehicles.
– We strongly believe in this business and we think ahead, hence we continue to turn down offers for purchasing our company. Currently I believe this does not make sense as soon our price will sky rocket. Moreover, blinkee.city will soon become a worldwide giant – Marcin Maliszewski says.
blinkee.city CEO & co-founder