RATP and Banque des Territoires save Cityscoot

“The world has changed…”. It is with this sentence that Bertrand Altmayer announced during a press briefing the strategic shift of Cityscoot, the French specialist in self-service scooter fleets. This is a 180 degree turn that materializes first by a recapitalization of Cityscoot by the RATP and the Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation), will become majority shareholders. The founder, Bertrand Fleurose, retired from management but remained a member of the board of directors and became a minority shareholder. Bertrand Altmayer thus becomes CEO of the company. He presented a new strategic roadmap under the sign of “frugality” and which should make it possible to achieve profitability by the end of 2022.

Savings measures already largely implemented

In reality, Cityscoot has already started reducing sail for several months. In December 2021, he broke camp in Barcelona, ​​​​a reputedly difficult market which had around ten operators capped at 700 scooters each. May, Since then the Parisian fleet has been practically halved, dropping from 3,600 vehicles to less than 2,500. “The analysis of flows and the databases of our most active customers allow us to refine the network of the Parisian territory through the physical actions of redeployment of our fleet. What we had forbidden ourselves to do until now. The idea is to have the right scooter in the right place,” explained Bertrand Altmayer. The result is clear, the rate of use of the scooter has increased by 50% from 4 to 6 rotations per day. “Unheard of,” raved Bertrand Altmayer. “Using our fleet means less maintenance, less recharging, less damage too…”, he also underlined. Moreover, in June, Cityscoot recorded a positive financial year for the first time.

“We will now want our achievements,” argues Bertrand Altmayer. According to him, Cityscoot no longer had the means to conduct an aggressive commercial policy as Bertrand Fleurose had led, in particular before the Covid crisis. “The reality of mobility has changed and our strategy was too cash-intensive,” noted his successor. “It was necessary to professionalize ourselves more. We are no longer a startup, we are now an SME, ”assumed Bertrand Altmayer.

Funding for startups has dried up

In addition, he finds that funding for startups has dried up for several months. In this context, it is impossible to continue to finance its growth through fundraising. The latest (23 million euros at the start of 2020) had made it possible to finance the establishment of Cityscoot in Barcelona with the success that we know. Finally, Cityscoot is facing increased competition. In Paris, where it had enjoyed a quasi-monopoly since the withdrawal of the timid Coup in 2019, the company saw the very aggressive Spanish Cooltra and Yego emerge. “We are still ultra-majority in Paris”, a nuanced Bertrand Altmayer.

The one to whom we owe the VTC Marcel company that he founded in 2014, however, did not consider it necessary to review the activities in the other cities where Cityscoot is currently applied, in particular Milan and Nice. The company has just landed in Turin, where the scooters that were degraded in Barcelona have been redeployed.

A huge opportunity in Paris

In reality, this strategic shift had been in the making for a while, we confess at RATP Capital Innovation. The arrival of Bertrand Altmayer to assist Bertrand Fleurose in May 2020 was already a way to adjust Cityscoot’s strategy.

For Cityscoot, it was imperative to get back in working order at a time when the universe of Parisian two-wheelers is in the process of rocking. Since September 1, parking for two-wheelers has been paid for in Paris and gives arguments to users moving from ownership to more use on demand. To surf on this huge opportunity, Cityscoot has just launched a monthly subscription at 129 euros. Then the call for tenders for the very lucrative Parisian market must deliver its conclusions next December, six months behind the initial schedule.