Even though remote work continues in many companies, with Big Tech companies deciding to maintain home office for at least until August 2021, other companies large Brazillian companies are gradually resuming their activities. In this scenario, big firms like Petrobras, Hyundai, Votorantim, and Telefónica became clients of Joycar, a corporate car-sharing startup. In the case of Petrobras, Joycar won a tender to manage the company’s fleet of more than 800 cars, a contract of more than BRL 7.8 million.
The coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts boosted the number of new deals for the startup. With an increasingly robust portfolio, investors saw Joycar as an opportunity, and through the EqSeed platform, the B2B car-sharing company raised BRL 2.3 million amid the pandemic.
The idea is to use the resources to expand commercially. The company attracted 218 investors, who contributed an average ticket of BRL 10,000, through the venture capital crowdfunding platform.
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Joycar was created by Rafael Taube, Cássio de Freitas, and Heitor Cunha in 2015 as a car rental company. In 2018, the startup pivoted the business model and started offering technology, that is, software and hardware for car-sharing and fleet management.
“The car is a very expensive asset, usually underutilized within companies. At this time of the pandemic, this becomes more explicit for the fleet manager, and we help the company to reduce the number of vehicles,” said Taube, Joycar’s CEO, to LABS.
The company’s goal is to be the technology provider for car-sharing operations for a fleet of 7,000 cars in up to 18 months. With the new investments, the team, which today has nine employees, may double in size.
“We will put together a commercial team and better structure our operation,” says Taube. “I think that in this pandemic moment, despite being positive for us, we have taken cautious steps so as not to be caught by surprise. Hiring people and eventually having to fire them is bad, so let’s be cautious,” he said.
Cautious, but optimistic. The expectation is that in one year the company will reach a gross revenue of BRL 3.3 million and it will have regional distributors across Brazil.
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This is the first time that Joycar has raised funds with investors. The company operated until today with its founders’ equity. EqSeed’s COO, Eduardo Castro, told LABS that this investment came as part of a maturing movement of investors, in which they are starting to look at B2B companies.
“What we were used to see were startups that have more contact with users, B2C, more publicized in the media. Now what we see is that startups that deal with the B2B sector are standing out in terms of appeal and understanding of their business model, and this is making it very easy to attract funding,” he explained. Startups like Joycar, who have a direct role in reducing their customers’ costs, have gained greater appeal to investors as well, according to Castro.
“Each car costs about BRL 20,000, BRL 30,000 per year for a company. Any car that this company eventually manages to cut from the total will be read as saving,” recalls Taube.
Looking further, Joycar wants to offer a ready-made product that can be installed in any car to make it shareable. Under contract today, the company has under management 1,200 cars, of which 300 are running with the company’s hardware installed.