uraj Atlas was at the birth of the Czech ride-hailing company, Liftago. Two years ago he decided to change the way people move around the cities with another startup. Mileus connects ride-hailing and taxis with public transport, to motivate commuters to leave their cars at home and relieve traffic congestion in big cities. Now, it has received more support from investors to further its mission.
At the start of 2020, Mileus received its first investment of €400,000 from the venture capital fund, Nation 1. Most recently, the angel fund Grouport, from the Depo Ventures group, invested €100,000. The investment round remains open with a planned syndicate from angel investors to put forward another €300,000.
“Mileus has the ambition to change traffic in big cities where commuters get stuck in gridlock every day — it will be greatly appreciated. It is a growing global problem and disruptive systemic change is inevitable. We believe that Mileus has all the prerequisites to succeed,” says Jan Krahulík, a partner of the Grouport angel fund, in response to the investment.
“We are betting here on a visionary founder who has extensive experience and success in the mobility industry. Personally, I like the project because it combines enormous business potential and massively reduces environmental impacts. This is exactly the kind of project I want to support,” adds Krahulík.
Mileus’s solution enables users to plan commutes using both taxis and public transportation with real-time connections. With this solution, Mileus gives commuters a viable alternative to individual car transport, that even people living in outer city areas can depend on.
In urban centres, the platform leverages the best use of public transport, which is normally more efficient than a car, then connects the user to a taxi waiting to pick them up at the transfer point. In doing so, Mileus brings the best of both worlds; the speed of public transport in the centre and the comfort of a taxi on the last-mile.
“It turns out that modern taxi services have not helped to relieve city centres from cars. Rather, they’ve had a negative impact because they’ve actually pulled people away from more sustainable forms of transport, especially public transport. So, we were looking for a way to mitigate the negative effects of modern taxi services and at the same time bring them the necessary opportunity for growth,” describes Juraj Atlas.
“With the new situation also affected by the pandemic, we have a new opportunity to introduce effective innovation into urban mobility and change the way we commute. Mileus will be more comfortable than just public transport and cheaper than just a taxi,” believes Atlas.
Since 2020, Mileus has had two analytical pilot projects with ride-hailing operators, in Prague with Liftago and in Bratislava with Hopin, which also included two market validation projects and three integration contracts. The platform was ready for test operation as early as March 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic significantly reducing daily commutes, implementing the solution was delayed.
Mileus now has a contract with ČSOB in Prague and with Hopin in Bratislava where it is launching. The startup will also focus on launching other pilot projects in the UK market, where it is in the final stages of negotiations. Although Mielus’s pilot projects generate revenue, the amount is not significant, and Mileus is still described as a company in the so-called pre-revenue phase.
Can people of Prague expect the launch of the service in their city as well? “With Liftago, we implemented one analytical and one market validation pilot. Both showed good results which are backed by up to 25 percent of customers showing interest in the service, while Liftago also expects the service to acquire more new users. Liftago is interested in launching the service in real operation, it’s just a question of service priorities for them at the moment,” says Atlas, adding that Mileus is also discussing launching the service with other partners in Prague.
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