Marco has a cross-sectorial education. He studied finance at Verona University and got his 2nd Master in Private Equity from the Luxembourgish Chamber of Commerce. He spent the first years of his career working for a Hedge Fund before starting his startup, Volvero. Thanks to the effort at Volvero he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and spent 6 months in London attending the Startup Leadership Program and 1 year in San Francisco, supporting Autotech VC and taking entrepreneurship classes at Stanford University. More recently he was selected among 2500 candidates for the first ENI Corporate University Master in Sustainable Entrepreneurship.
Kayode Alao, COO, manages the partnerships and operations within the organization to ensure that the company onboards the right partners for increased commercial success based on his 10 years of experience as a Procurement Professional and Civil Engineer in multinational large-scale infrastructure development projects. He is a fellow of the Global Solutions Initiative (Berlin) and has been nominated as a mentor by the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) and Misk Global Forum to mentor startup projects in Barbados and El-Salvador.
IMPACT FOUNDERS | SDG 11 | Sustainable cities and communities
(5 min. read )
How did the idea of creating Volvero come about?
Have you ever been in love? Well, our founder, Marco, was living far from his girlfriend and he needed to rent a car to visit her at the weekends since there were no feasible alternatives. Renting a car was not a trivial procedure as there are many friction points in car rental service such as the requirement for drivers to be older than 25, the need of a not electronic credit card issued by a trusted institution with at least 1500 $ ceiling, you need to queue, to book in advantage and to pay a lot of money. We thus started Volvero to simplify and innovate the whole user experience: we realized we could have affected, for real, people’s lives and having positively impacted environmental issues such as pollutions and traffic jams.
At what stage is currently Volvero’s app?
The app is available for our beta testers and available for preregistration on the Italian app stores. First agreement in place with car rentals and car dealers and a community of thousands of early adopters that are growing on our social media.
Focusing on the UN 2030 Agenda, how does Volvero contribute specifically to SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)?
Volvero improves communities by addressing a range of social issues such as inequality, lack of security, driving behavior, obstacles to access to transportation. Our app reduces inequality between social layers providing the possibility of mobility to those who do not own a vehicle, eliminating the concept of being underprivileged if not owning one. Likewise, women and young people that feel threatened and in the absence of transportation alternatives, give up and stay at home, can now socialize, access healthcare, educational establishments, cultural sites which all contribute to the wellbeing of the society. We promote inclusivity and are closing the social gap. Moreover, owners of the vehicles, including local SMEs are optimizing their vehicles’ costs and business model that leads to the economic upturn. Finally, Volvero aims at enhancing security on the roads by using data analytics that improves driving behavior to reduce the number of cases of misbehavior on the road.
Speaking of ecological impact, the manufacturing process of a vehicle requires a lot of resources, such as water, oil, and energy. With car-sharing solutions, the demand for new vehicles plunges, entailing huge savings in natural assets. Solutions such as Volvero can reduce the demand for new vehicles for up to 20%. In terms of pollution, one shared car equals 8 privately owned. Considering these factors, it can be concluded that Volvero entails a reduction in pollution, traffic, and the need for urban spaces for parking, thus converting them to efficient facilities (commercial, houses, parks). Volvero embeds an economic factor into the ownership model that impacts the use of privately-owned vehicles by reducing their usage. Driving their own vehicles indeed prevent owners from making money, as the vehicles are not available for others if used by owners. Therefore, owners are prone to use alternative ways of transport such as bicycles, public transport, etc.
One of Volvero’s premises ensures maximum safety for drivers and owners, providing Peace & Safety Insurance. So, how does it work exactly?
As a result of our mission of safety, we have developed and patented an insurance solution in support of Europ Assistance. This ensures that our community of users and owners on the platform are equally insured for damages and incidents. For our renters and owners, we have a standard policy insurance that covers all rental transactions on our App. We are also providing risk-averse clients with the ability to choose if they want to pay for extra coverage to extend their insurance insured during the use of vehicles on our platform.
If a renter is involved in an accident or causes damage to a vehicle, collects data using sensors from the renter’s mobile phone. What then happens is a decision on the risk and fault allocation to decide on the out-of-pocket maximum, this happens if the renter has not extended their standard insurance for the rental contract. The owner of the vehicle will accept the vehicle and document the incident during the check-out process. The owner will then be able to claim the full cost to repair the damages via Volvero.
Does your model offer owners autonomy and flexibility in terms of the profitability of their vehicles?
We look to champion mobility freedom for all. By sharing resources and costs, the owners can create another income channel rather than viewing their vehicles as an only cost item. Currently, we are going to allow the owners to decide the fair prices to rent their vehicles with some moderation. In the future with our artificial intelligence implementation, we will also provide them with guidance on average prices in their locality. The aim is to make sure that we stay competitive in the vehicle sharing market and attract renters with economical offers.
What expectations do you have about your (virtual) incubation in CI and integration into this impact community?
We believe at Casa Do Impacto we can meet exceptional mentors and advisors. We would like to improve our execution by working with them. We also would like to learn from their experience, understand what’s the reason behind their success and if they have failed once, why did it happened; to avoid committing the same mistakes. We want to be part of the community of innovators that resides at CDI: we like to talk with other people that are involved in impact activities and involve them with the delivery of our service in the city of Lisbon for when we will roll out the service (IIQ 2022)
Founders de Impacto interviews the founders of resident startups, whose mission is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal (ODS) celebrated each month at Casa do Impacto.