French mobility companies Smoove and Zoov merge to help cities shift from cars to bikes

Co-founders Arnaud Le Rodallec, Amira Haberah, Eric Carreel

Today French companies Smoove (founded in 2008), a market leader in self-service bikes and Zoov (founded in 2017), a self-servce e-bike startup, are teaming up, combining their expertise and experience to roll out their technology in countries far and wide. The new entity will be able to support any city with a range of innovative bike-sharing systems, ensuring first-class quality of service.

By combining Smoove’s experience and international presence with Zoov’s technological advancement, the new entity will be able to meet any and all expectations of local governments, and to massively accelerate the modal shift from cars to bikes. They have set their sights on making a major contribution to the European Union’s objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to transport by 60% by 2050.

Together, Smoove and Zoov are already able to offer connected self-service systems, with or without stations, both of which can seamlessly co-exist. Due to the array of uses for e-bikes, new offerings – based on the expertise of both entities – are being developed. These will be unveiled over the course of 2021.

“We are passionate about working hand in hand with medium and large cities. Cycling needs to be developed everywhere if we want to make an impact. Zoov’s technologies are revolutionary as they significantly reduce investment and operating costs. Together with our expertise with local authorities, they will enable us to make self-service more profitable and easier to implement, while opening the door to additional uses”, said Benoit Yameundjeu, CEO of Smoove.

“With this alliance between 2 European companies – one of the world leaders in terms of market shares and public bike schemes and one of the world leaders in terms of disruptive technology in e-bike sharing – we aim to create a future European champion of electric micro-mobility and deploy our solutions worldwide”, commented Amira Haberah, co-founder of Zoov.

To capitalize on the environmental and economic benefits of local production, Smoove and Zoov will continue to contribute to the development of the French bike industry with the goal of relying primarily on the French industrial network to develop their offerings. The supply chain for Vélib bikes is already over 60% French and will also benefit from relocation measures.

Smoove is a French company, founded in 2008, that is both a pioneer and a leader in the bike-sharing market, specialized in designing and rolling out systems to countries across the globe. It has rolled out over 50,000 e-bikes and mechanical bikes in 23 cities worldwide, including Moscow, Vancouver, Helsinki, Lima and Paris, within the Smovengo consortium – the world’s largest self-service bike-sharing service, with over 360,000 subscribers and 215,000 trips per day. This has enabled Smoove, over the course of 15 years, to accumulate unparalleled expertise in the self-service bike market, supporting local authorities from defining and framing their upstream needs to providing continuous support throughout the operational phase of its solutions.

Zoov was created in 2017 by Eric Carreel, a successful serial entrepreneur (Inventel, Withings, Invoxia, etc.), Arnaud Le Rodallec and Amira Haberah. In just a few years, Zoov has become the technological benchmark for self-service e-bikes thanks to connected, efficient and reliable e-bikes, as well as the world’s most compact and lightweight charging station. In addition to operating services in the south of the Paris region and Bordeaux, Zoov makes it possible for all types of operators to integrate their e-bikes into their mobility offering, or to enhance their existing service with connectivity enabled by IoT and fleet management tools. Operators are using Zoov technology to power shared e-bike services in a growing number of cities including Grenoble and Paris. 

In this transaction, Mobivia, Smoove’s parent company via its subsidiary Via ID, remains a majority shareholder in the new entity, alongside Zoov’s founders and investors: Daphni, C4 Ventures, Road Ventures, BNP Paribas Développement and Banque des Territoires. The new entity is preparing a capital drive which aims, among other things, to accelerate its business development and increase its capacity for innovation.

Ludovic Bertrand, Chairman of Smoove, assumes the chairmanship of the new entity and Eric Carreel, the Chairman of Zoov, will sit on the Board of Directors. Zoov co-founders Amira Haberah and Arnaud Le Rodallec will continue their roles as Chief Product Officer and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, and will work closely with Benoît Yameundjeu, the Chief Executive Officer of Smoove, who takes the lead alongside Olivier Carton, Chief Operations Officer.

The employees of Smoove and Zoov, located in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux, have already started to work together, and all the sites will remain active. Bordeaux and Saclay operations in the Paris region will continue to be operated as part of the product development cycle. This represents a fleet of more than 1000 electric bicycles.

“The merger with Smoove gives us the opportunity to execute a large-scale roll out of the technology we have been developing for almost 4 years now. We are very excited about this prospect”, said Arnaud Le Rodallec, CEO of Zoov.

“This alliance perfectly matches Mobivia’s original goal of making sustainable mobility accessible to all. It strengthens our ability to support the transition to active mobility in the cities of tomorrow,” said Ludovic Bertrand, Chairman of Smoove and Head of Two Wheel & Urban Micromobility Business at Mobivia Via ID.