2021 has been a year of tremendous growth for Mobility @ Baloise. New portfolio companies, projects and programmes were all part of this significant year for our mobility unit. With this blog article we take a look back at a moving year, both for Baloise’s Mobility Ecosystem and the wider DACH region.
Now, we look forward to 2022, where Baloise’s involvement in the mobility ecosystem continues to grow, more specifically by placing it alongside innovation.
In fact, we’ve always projected this style into our mobility team and consequently, both our Home and Mobility ecosystems are becoming more and more established. Our exceptional culture of innovation is giving us a growing competitive edge.
However, before we look to the new year and what lies ahead, let's look back at some of our major mobility milestones in 2021:
2021 did not disappoint, there has been both growth and change in the mobility scene across the DACH region and the rest of the world. The key trends of the past year sound familiar, the developments are interesting and bring us closer to the future of mobility.
First, both the Electric and Autonomous Vehicle markets have progressed. In Germany alone sales of fully electric vehicles went up by 207% from 2019 to 2020 and in November this year, it was 104% higher than the same period last year. This made Germany the 2nd largest EV market after China. It is therefore not surprising that the government is looking to stimulate sales further by providing high subsidies for the purchase in 2022. Looking at the highest share of EV vehicles per country, Norway is still leading.
With regards to the autonomous vehicles, 2021 has shown an increase in robotaxi trials. Looking ahead, Germany again is planning to allow for level 4 driverless services on the road by 2022. This level includes high level automation, making vehicles operate in self-driving mode. However, solely within a limited area, which is called geofencing.
It also goes without saying that sustainability has been a prevalent theme this year. With businesses agreeing on ambitious targets, governments implementing regulating efforts - like the EU green deal - consumers are trying to find ways to adapt more sustainable means to get around. Accordingly, the industry is responding. Among others, shared mobility and green vehicles are the most popular initiatives that we can’t ignore. In addition, the mobility budgets and growing interest in e-bikes add to the overall sustainability of mobility.
One of the latest products that might combine all three aforementioned trends is the latest launch by BMW, the i Vision Amby. An (urban) bike made out of secondary aluminum and recycled plastics with adaptive speed, restricting the speed based on the location of the bicycle, thus including geofencing.
What lies ahead for 2022? In a nutshell, the electrical vehicle industry still has many opportunities for improvement. From battery capacity increases to the production of them, and the so-called non-battery EVs. Nonetheless, if we want to make the industry truly sustainable, we still have a long way to go.
A major milestone for the team this year was the completion of the first ever Baloise Mobility Accelerator. An entirely new concept for Baloise, this intensive programme combined a practical and customer-centric approach with personalised feedback and mentoring.
Taking place over 10 weeks, 10 startups had the chance to participate in this engaging programme with support from Spark Works and learning modules by Sparkademy.
As the Mobility unit continues to expand its portfolio, in April of this year Baloise announced its investment in Danish peer-to-peer car sharing company GoMore. More recently, in October, GoMore expanded into Switzerland, initially providing its car sharing service in Basel and Zurich. Swiss GoMore members were also able to take advantage of the firm’s GoMore Keyless service. This keyless sharing technology allows car owners to rent out their cars without having to hand over the keys in person. Instead, the car is locked and unlocked using a smartphone. Meanwhile, to complement GoMore’s service offering, Baloise has designed the perfect insurance product to meet the needs of car owners and renters.
Want to learn more about GoMore - check out their website here!
2021 also saw Baloise no longer solely investing in new and existing portfolio companies, but also found its own start ups. Essentially allowing us to grow, scale and directly contribute to the mobility ecosystem.
This year we founded Parcandi, a corporate start-up that was initially developed as part of an internal innovation campaign. CEO Corsin Sulser, was previously at Baloise for 10 years before taking on this role. Parcandi connects drivers looking for somewhere to park to owners of unused parking spaces. Through this product, drivers can know exactly where the parking spot is and pay for the real usage months, days or hours very flexibly and without long term contracts. Bringing drivers and parking lots together in just a few clicks via an app, Parcandi is simplifying a common act in our everyday lives.
Along with all the external growth with our mobility ventures/programmes, we also experienced growth within the internal Baloise mobility unit. This year James Sanders joined the team as Manager of Ecosystem Development. His role is to make the portfolio stronger and make cross-collaborations and partnerships happen.
In addition, in the beginning of the year we welcomed Guillermo Forteza as Senior Venture Consultant. With sufficient experience within the innovation and mobility scene in Europe, he supports the unit in identifying investment opportunities.
Manager of Ecosystem Development
Senior Venture Consultant
Despite the continued “virtual” nature of this year, in October Baloise hosted its first Mobility Portfolio Days, in person in Basel. The event aimed to strengthen connections within the mobility ecosystem and reinforce the growing sense of community. An opportunity for inspiration and know-how transfer, the portfolio companies of the Baloise mobility ecosystem and employees from various Baloise business units met for a two-day program. The ten early-stage startups currently participating in the Baloise Mobility Accelerator also attended the event, so that they could meet for the first time in person and learn from Baloise’s portfolio companies as well as mobility experts in attendance.
To keep up with all the exciting news within the mobility ecosystem and to have a hub for our community, Baloise founded both a mobility website and newsletter this year. From expert interviews to job vacancies, you certainly don’t want to miss out!
It's fair to say this year has been a year of significant growth for the mobility ecosystem both across the region and also here at Baloise. Impacted by the pandemic, increased environmental awareness and drive for innovation, mobility is a space that is not to be missed. 2022, will certainly continue this momentum and Baloise certainly will be along this journey.