Free2Move, the mobility services business in Groupe PSA, became a fully fledged legal entity last week and now has the capacity to start to court new outside investors, says Brigitte Courtehoux, CEO of the brand.
Created as a brand in 2016, the car rental and car-sharing operation offers mobility services, which include taxi rides, as well as vehicle rentals and car-sharing.
The new status grants it greater autonomy to develop its own apps and opens the way to seek new investors.
“It remains completely open,” Courtehoux said in an interview. “It’s one of the possibilities, but we aren’t there yet.”
“We’re really in stage one (which consists in) profitable growth and pulling it all together.”
Free2Move currently employs 150 tech experts specialized in data, design and e-commerce. The company is competing in a crowded and fast-evolving market that includes; French start-up Drivy, Share Now, jointly controlled by Daimler and BMW, Renault’s Zity and Europcar’s Ubeeqo.
It also competes with Uber and the US car-sharing company Zipcar.
Although declining to provide any specific financial figures, Courtehoux said that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic that led to the suspension of its car-sharing service in Paris and Madrid, first-half revenues grew by 23%, but that remains small in comparison to the revenue generated by PSA’s main car brands.
Courtehoux also acknowledged that the Covid-19 crisis compelled it to postpone to 2021 plans to extend its car-sharing network, which is to include Washington DC, Lisbon, and a new unnamed big European city.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which is intending to merge with PSA in the first-half of 2021, has its own rental and car mobility entity called Leasys.
“We’re very complementary, we have a very common vision of what we want to do in the world of mobility,” Courtehoux said, without elaborating.