By Untapped Global | FlexClub, October 11th 2021
FlexClub, a marketplace for vehicle subscriptions, has partnered with Untapped Global, a pioneer of Smart Asset Financing™ in emerging markets, and ITALIKA the leading motorcycle brand and manufacturer in Mexico, to offer electric vehicle subscriptions to on-demand workers in countries such as Mexico and South Africa. The partnership will make over 2,000 electric vehicles - including 1,000 electric motorcycles - significantly more accessible for independent on-demand workers using platforms like Uber, Rappi, Didi, and Bolt to earn income.
In emerging markets, the lack of formal access to vehicle financing has been a perennial problem that has left millions of on-demand workers vulnerable to predatory informal vehicle rentals. Established asset financiers and leasing companies have been reluctant to serve this segment due to the high perceived risk － a problem deeply understood by FlexClub, a technology startup founded by former leaders of Vehicle Solutions at Uber.
Fueled by the pandemic, vehicle subscriptions have grown in popularity globally, as more customers search for simpler alternatives to conventional auto loans, which are notoriously rigid and cumbersome. Subscriptions on the other hand offer the added benefit of flexibility, accessibility, and convenience, eliminating the need for customers to incur separate insurance, maintenance, or depreciation costs, thanks to the all-inclusive monthly pricing.
“The combination of our risk management technology and digital distribution capabilities enables progressive asset financiers, leasing companies and even vehicle manufacturers, to easily launch and operate vehicle subscriptions more profitably, serving a range of customers, including on-demand workers”, explains Tinashe Ruzane, CEO of FlexClub. “This partnership will extend the reach of vehicle subscriptions to thousands more customers on the FlexClub marketplace, creating the foundation for financiers like Untapped Global to increase investment in asset-backed funding of vehicle subscriptions,” adds Ruzane.
Untapped Global offers Smart Asset Financing to asset-based businesses across Africa and other emerging markets. Smart Asset Financing is an innovative investment model that provides flexible capital for fast-growing companies like FlexClub, leveraging technology to make investments safer and more profitable for investors by tracking assets and capturing revenue in real-time.
According to Jim Chu, CEO of Untapped Global, the partnership with FlexClub creates opportunities for on-demand workers and small business entrepreneurs to significantly improve their earnings potential in emerging economies. “Simplified access to assets will catalyze a new wave of earnings opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs in economies such as Mexico and South Africa”, explains Chu.
Through this partnership, Untapped Global will finance more than 2,000 vehicles – including 1,000 electric motorcycles – for eligible on-demand workers, starting with the launch of Mexico’s first electric motorcycle subscription co-developed with Italika, the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the country.
“We are committed to growing the use of EVs in Mexico and developing the energy infrastructure necessary for the future of mobility,” says Servando Canales, Director of Innovation at Italika, and CEO of the group’s innovation energy business, Citio. “Our alliance with FlexClub and Untapped Global will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by providing a more flexible alternative to traditional financing.”
FlexClub also supports global brands such as Avis, Europcar, and Bajaj with the distribution of their vehicle subscription products to customers with either personal, business, or work needs. The partnership between Untapped Global and FlexClub extends to car subscriptions, in collaboration with Avis Fleet and several other leasing companies across South Africa and Mexico.