These days, mobility options need to be safer than ever. Meeting traditional standards for safety is a must, but that’s in addition to maintaining a reduced risk of infection. For many, personally operated modes of transportation are the preferred choice. Cars, bikes, and scooters are all gaining in popularity, with one survey noting that interest in car ownership increased by 32% since the pandemic began. But ownership can be challenging for some and out of reach for others.
That’s why I’m excited to announce our investment in Bipi, a European car-as-a-service marketplace offering customers a flexible monthly subscription for high-quality new and used cars. Based in Madrid, Spain, CEO Hans Christ and COO Alejandro Vigaray founded Bipi in 2017. With 80 employees (and counting), the company is currently the car subscription leader in Spain, and the team is expanding into new European markets, including France.
Rather than purchasing its own inventory, Bipi partners with established European car-leasing banks, captive banks from OEMs, dealerships, and other fleet owners to provide users access to a wide selection of vehicles. That approach allows Bipi to focus on (1) delivering the best possible consumer experience and (2) providing a new distribution, payment, logistics, and user acquisition digital platform for fleet owners.
Bipi is also transforming the traditionally offline car transaction experience by taking it online. This, too, is timely since consumer purchasing habits around the globe have shifted to buying goods online. If consumers can shop for groceries, furniture, and appliances online and have everything delivered to their doorstep, why not cars? In my first meeting with Hans, I loved his framing that shopping for a car online should be as easy as shopping for a pair of blue jeans.
Bipi’s service provides a cost-effective alternative to car ownership with a seamless digital experience. After customers select a vehicle through Bipi’s app or website and place an order, the car is delivered straight to the customer’s door within a few days.
The monthly fee includes vehicle delivery, insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, annual registration fees, and more — making the entire process hassle-free. Users can cancel their subscription after as little as a month or swap vehicles at the end of their commitment period.
Bipi marks our first investment outside of North America since COVID-19 disrupted regular travel and prevented us from meeting the founders in person. A year ago, it would have been unthinkable for many to invest in a company without meeting the team face to face first. But we’ve learned to adapt, and Hans’ vision for Bipi shone through in our many virtual meetings.
At Toyota AI Ventures, we invest in technology and innovation that amplifies the human experience. Bipi’s customer experience expands access to personally operated mobility at a time when people need it the most. We’re excited to support their €10.5M Series B financing round alongside Adevinta Ventures, Maniv Mobility, IDC Ventures, and TA Ventures. We look forward to collaborating with them as the team expands their service throughout Europe.