Nickelytics, a Tampa-based startup focused on subsidizing transportation costs, recently graduated from the TechStars Smart Mobility Accelerator Program in Turin, Italy. It has now decided to expand its operation into Europe. Their Demo Day had to be done virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the pitch mentioned how the marketing landscape is changing. Consumers want more targeted advertisements, and if the industry doesn’t keep up it will “fall further into irrelevancy,” according to CEO, Judah Longgrear.

The Nickelytics business model consists of putting vinyl wrap advertisements on ride sharing vehicles or taxis so that the driver can receive a monthly payment, as long as they travel a certain distance per day. The company is also able to track how many views the ads get using technology added onto the vehicle, allowing advertisers to better understand their reach.

Accelerating Success

The 13-week accelerator program proved to be quite useful in networking with European investors. Nickelytics is partnering with WeTaxi, “one of Italy’s fastest growing taxi aggregators,” as well as e-scooter companies, to integrate their dynamic advertising model into the European market. They also secured a partnership with Winelivery, an alcohol delivery service in Italy, which is understandably booming given the current circumstances.

Grit Daily caught up with Judah Longgrear, CEO of Nickelytics, to ask about their expansion into Europe. In the US, the model was meant to supplement rideshare drivers’ incomes, but Europe does not allow advertisements on personal vehicles, so the company is “working with mobility partners at the individual level so we can operate our model legally and effectively.”

Adding To The Team

COVID-19 has delayed launch dates for some of their campaigns, but the company has been able to hire three more employees to join their team, showing that some businesses can still thrive during the crisis. All three new hires were part of the team of five TechStars associates assigned to the program before moving to Nickelytics. They include Gaia Amatteis as the People and Operations Manager, Marcello Novelli as the Business Development and Operations Manager and Margaux Pagès as as the Financial and International Growth Manager. Their combined talents and experience include multiple Master’s degrees, fundraising, entrepreneurship, project management and financial modeling.

Changing The Transportation Landscape

As the pandemic keeps millions working from home, it may cause people to question the need to own a personal vehicle. If people relinquish their vehicles and rely more on rideshare companies for their transportation needs, it may be more cost effective as they will not need to purchase auto insurance or deal with maintenance. It would also be better for the environment, as keeping cars off the road would reduce traffic congestion and subsequent carbon and nitrous oxide emissions. More and more people are renting e-scooters to get around, and being cooped up inside is causing people to yearn more for the outdoors, which could change the transportation landscape and re-localize economies.

The TechStars Smart Mobility Accelerator Program seeks innovative companies to disrupt the business-as-usual mindset around certain industries. When innovators are faced with crises, the outcomes may be different from the original plan, but sometimes they prove to be even better.