INVERS automated vehicle sharing solution and shared mobility
Please introduce yourself and your startup INVERS to our readers!
Hi, my name is Uwe Latsch and and I am the founder and CTO of INVERS. INVERS is the inventor of the world’s first automated vehicle sharing solution and a pioneer in shared mobility.
With our Shared Mobility OS, we offer a modular full-stack solution with which mobility providers worldwide can make their services fast, reliable and scalable – from the white label app on users’ mobile phones to operator backends to vehicle telematics. Although we maintain an agile mindset and low hierarchies, we are no longer a startup per se. INVERS has been a profitable and independent company for many years.
How did you get the idea of INVERS?
In the 1990s, I regularly needed a car but I didn’t want to buy one, especially for ecological reasons. That is why I had the idea to share a car with fellow students during my studies. At that time, carsharing already existed in Berlin but the handling was very inconvenient. Being an electrical engineer, I wanted to find a technical solution for this problem.
Why did you decide to start with INVERS?
As I already mentioned, I wasn’t happy with the existing concept of shared mobility. In those days the internet was not widespread and carsharing itself was too manual – including reservation lists and key boxes. You can imagine how tedious the key management was. In 1993, I developed an onboard computer which made cars shareable with the help of telephone cards for authentification. This was the first automated carsharing solution worldwide and INVERS’ first product.
What is the vision behind INVERS?
At INVERS, we want to make mobility shareable and accessible for everyone who needs it. On the one hand, we believe that mobility is no longer a question of owning a car or a scooter. Our society is already working on reducing their ecological footprint by using shared mobility. That is why we want to provide a service that is simple to use and operates efficiently. On the other hand, we want to make our customers successful and enable them to launch, scale and manage their services quickly and efficiently.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
When we just started with INVERS, it was difficult to raise funds because the banks did not believe in the idea of carsharing. But luckily we were supported by a local group of entrepreneurs who did. Things changed in 2001, when Deutsche Bahn entered the market of carsharing with their offering Flinkster, which was enabled by the technology of INVERS. Since then, carsharing has evolved from a niche product to a ubiquitous one. In 2008, Car2Go rolled out the first free floating carsharing service in Germany – also by leveraging INVERS products. As you can see, the interest in Shared Mobility rose over the years and is far from being at the end of its growth.
Who is your target audience?
Generally, every shared mobility provider worldwide. We offer our technology for operators of carsharing, scooter sharing, ride pooling and car rental solutions such as Emmy, eCooltra, Clevershuttle, Getaround or Flinkster.
What is the USP of your startup?
Of course our proven and reliable technology but also our know-how – by now we have experience with over 300 successful launches in more than 50 countries. Last but not least – the future proof – we can offer full flexibility with our technology, which means, that we can provide clients with unlimited options for configurations, we proved long-term commitment to our clients and we work continuously on innovation and development.
Can you describe your typical workday?
Every day is different but I regularly ride my fat-tire eBike to work. Then I am using my day to explore new technologies, develop new products together with my team and attend customer workshops.
Where do you see yourself and your startup INVERS in five years?
I am convinced that INVERS is going to be more global and will have a broader range of products, from telematics to SaaS solutions. We are also going to be offering more products for mixed fleets and a broader range of vehicle types. We already see the market pivoting in that direction and therefore plan to fulfil mobility operator’s needs in that regard.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
First of all, you need to believe in your product and be passionate about it. If you are not, no one will be. But in the end, it counts to build a product that hits the nerve of the customers and for which they are willing to pay. This seems to be an obvious thing but it is important to always keep in mind as a company can not last without revenue. Secondly, it is just as important to always stay focused. Especially because there are many distractions in and around the startup scene that can keep you from making fast enough progress.
More information you will find here
Thank you Uwe Latsch for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.