Startup VOOVOO is one of 10 participants in Startup KPIs Day, which was held by the Startup Central Eurasia platform in July. It is a Georgian startup which is a reliable and safe carsharing service without intermediaries. Its proactive Advanced Fleet Control technology allows the owner to monitor the speed of a vehicle rented from them.
The startup has already closed its first round of investment, is finalising a mobile app and is preparing to enter the European market in 2023. The company has been registered in Georgia since 2018 and in Latvia since 2020.
VooVoo's founders see many advantages in car-sharing: the renter does not incur insurance, repair and parking costs, while the owner can have an additional source of passive income.
However, there are some problems that are holding back the growth of car sharing. For example, irresponsible driving or careless behaviour of drivers. The startup's solution is the VOOBOX device, which allows car owners to influence drivers' behaviour in real-time.
— How does the VOOBOX work?
VOOBOX works thanks to GPS. Earlier GPS trackers that were installed in cars could only send information from the car. Revaz Kakabadze and I have improved the technology and created a GPS tracker, which allows you to send a signal to the car itself. The server program decides, for instance, at what speed the vehicle is moving by using certain relays.
Now we are working with several organizations in Georgia, which will help us bring the startup to the market. Moreover, the city authorities have an interest in installing our device in public transport, namely minibuses. Once we finish the certification, we will be able to cooperate with government organizations.
— It turns out that the certification of the device is the final stage of development...
Since our device has to be installed inside the car and it is an enclosed space, we have to make sure that it is safe. However, it took an entire year just to figure out what certifications are needed. We end up getting tested for electrical radiation, lead-free microcircuits and others.
— Do you pass these tests in Georgia?
Alas, it is impossible to obtain such a certificate in Georgia. And to enter the EU market you have to have the appropriate permissions. We are going through certification in Europe and it was important for us to register the company in Latvia in due time.
— When do you plan to close the current round?
We plan to close the seed round for €300 000 by December this year. We need the money to make a soft landing in Riga and prepare for expansion into the European market.
— How useful was it for you to participate in Startup KPIs Day?
After your venture day, I was contacted by Magzhan Madiev, CEO of Astana Hub. He shared what startup support programmes there are in Kazakhstan, and told me more about the ecosystem. Right now, however, we are testing the Georgian market and then we are targeting the EU. However, perhaps in 2-3 years, it will be very useful for us to get acquainted with Astana Hub.
— What else startup support programmes are you planning to participate in?
We are participating in three accelerators. Among them – the Turkish ITU Seed and the European EIT Urban Mobility. We have a big chance to take part in demo days and, if possible, close the round with the help of these programmes.