quicko mobility commute train metro bus
Photo: Shutterstock

“The Waze of those who don’t have a car”, Quicko lowers commuting stress in Brazil's largest cities

The app Quicko uses big data to plan trips and offers discounts on tickets to citizens that rely on public transport

Ler em português

Public transport users in big cities are always rushing. There is a reason for such haste: those who depend on buses, subways, or other public transport systems are always one setback away from being late — or having to change their entire schedule.

The Brazilian startup Quicko wants to make easier the lives of those who need to commute in big cities and, therefore, crosses public transport data to inform its users in real-time. In addition to notifications about unforeseen events, the company informs the conveniences around each of the routes, from stores to umbrella points and bike-sharing services.

READ ALSO: Promising uncomplicated and flexible renting, Brazilian proptech Tabas taps $14 million round

According to Quicko’s CEO, Pedro Somma, the startup was born from the need to look at people’s journey as a whole.

“Most of the mobility innovations of recent years focus on a specific modal of transport — an app to order a car, taxi, scooter — our perception is that a person who doesn’t have a car depends on combining a series of different transportation types in her daily life”, says Somma.

We want people to have a car-free experience that is very similar to the experience of having a car and using Waze.

Pedro Somma, CEO of Quicko

Even amid the pandemic, the startup has seen the number of users of its app multiply 15 times since January 2020. According to Somma, the growth is related to one of Quicko’s differentials: bringing predictability to its users’ travels.

READ ALSO: The upsides and (headaches) of Microsoft’s $68 billion deal with Activision Blizzard

“Giving predictability about public transport is something that makes people safer. At a time when people who have to commute are extremely vulnerable, our app was very important”, explains Quicko’s CEO.

Pedro Somma, CEO of mobility as a service startup Quicko. Photo: Quicko/Courtesy

Today, Quicko has more than 80 employees and operates in eight cities in Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Campinas, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre and Curitiba). The mobility startup raised a $10 million Series A round in 2018 with the CCR Group of road concessions and J2L Partners of investments. In early 2021, the company announced a new Series B contribution from the same investors, this time in the amount of BRL 100 million, to accelerate its growth plan.

Loyalty program

To boost the recurrence of users in public transport, the urban mobility app launched a loyalty program in December last year. The new feature allows users to exchange points earned in the application for credits on the transport card and for cell phone recharge. Actions such as transport card registration, balance checks, warnings about bus and subway capacity/delays in the city, in addition to the purchase of credits for the transport cards, give points to Quicko’s users.

“We launched Clube Quicko to help people’s daily routines and ensure more savings in transportation. In addition to the benefit to the customer, the rewarded behaviors will also be important to improve everyone’s mobility, prioritizing the use of public transport, active mobility, and better habits. With this, the user has even more reasons to prioritize public transportation”, points out Pedro Somma.

READ ALSO: A new perspective on mobility solutions through Mobility as a Service

For now, the program is available in Salvador, but it should reach other cities in Brazil in early 2022. The capital of Bahia is an important region for Quicko since, in just six months of operation, more than 100,000 transactions were carried out to recharge the subway card in the city. According to the company, 66.7% of recharges on the network of Metrô Bahia cards are transacted by the company.

“The relationship program helps the user to save daily. We managed to make an extra ticket possible, offer mobile recharge. We gamify people’s journeys, encouraging more sustainable behaviors”, explains the CEO of Quicko.