We talked to Guillermo Campoamor of Meep about changing the mobility paradigm, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Guillermo Campoamor: We’re all good. My family, friends, and the Meep team are holding up well, considering the rare and convulsive times we’re currently going through. Fortunately, we haven’t had any bad news.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Meep.
Guillermo Campoamor: I graduated in Law and Business Administration from the Pontificia de Comillas University. After that, I dove into the export world, and after living in more than four countries, I understood it was the perfect time to move onto what had always attracted me, the innovation sector, and founded my own company. Meep was born in 2017 with the aim of changing the mobility paradigm, of shifting to a more adaptable and sustainable way of moving around cities. During my time working in the export business, I had clients from over 20 different countries whom I had to visit regularly. In the course of these trips, I realized the most friendly cities placing people at the center were those with an efficient mobility system.
How does Meep innovate?
Guillermo Campoamor: At Meep, we develop our own leading-edge technology to produce mobile solutions for both iOS and Android, taking advantage of all the available transportation resources in cities. We integrate all modes of transport in a single platform and offer users the possibility of planning smart routes but also of paying for their trip through our app.
We are prepared to integrate all operators in our platforms, no matter their size, as long as they add value to the final user. For us, partnerships are essential. We create agreements with local mobility providers, putting a special focus on public ones, as we consider public transport to be the backbone of mobility in cities.
We also offer Meepath to complement Meep, a proprietary analytics tool that employs artificial intelligence to generate actionable insights for authorities and transport providers. It enables data-driven operational decision making, identifies patterns, and makes predictions.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Guillermo Campoamor: The effects of the COVID-19 crisis in the transport sector have been immense; mobility has been drastically reduced at a global level. Therefore, the number of trips made through our several apps has been inevitably reduced. However, we realized we had to confront the coronavirus crisis more as an opportunity to rethink mobility and sustainability than as a hurdle to overcome.
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic became increasingly severe, Meep started building a series of features to help transport adapt to the new reality. Our aim was to guarantee social distancing and encourage users to keep using public transport.
These features are now functioning in our different apps, and they include updates about occupancy volume in public transport and predictions about occupancy volume for advanced trip planning. Also, notifications outlining the different hygiene and sanitation measures for each mode of transport as well as direct communication between the user and the operator and a cleanliness review system of transit and shared modes.
The user’s safety is our number one priority, so we made an effort to develop these new features in order to create safer environments during travels. We hope they help our users effectively plan their routes and reduce contact to the maximum while moving around.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Guillermo Campoamor: There are many occasions when you have to discard projects due to a lack of time, which is difficult to manage. Innovation has to have a focus and be given priority, be executive. Having a plan is not enough.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Guillermo Campoamor: My personal way of disconnecting is doing lots of sports and reading books.
Who are your competitors?
Guillermo Campoamor: All tech companies that are developing solutions based on mobility as a service.
How do you plan to stay in the game?
Guillermo Campoamor: Our flexibility, being operator agnostic (we promote democratization in mobility), and sustainability are the features that will lead us to continue playing strong. We believe offering sustainable solutions will differentiate us, especially in the long term.
What is your competitive advantage?
Guillermo Campoamor: Unlike our competitors, Meep provides a MaaS platform that is ready-to-go and quick to customize. This means we can easily deploy our solution in a short period of time, adapting it to the particularities of each location and its technological capabilities. In addition, we have full access to the entire user journey, which allows us to better service local authorities and transit agencies, and we focus on offering customized routes to provide our users with the best travelling option according to their needs at each moment.
I’ll tell you more! We accommodate multiple ticket payment systems, and we complement our mobile solutions with Meepath, the tool I previously mentioned, as we believe nowadays, it is key to make data-driven decisions.
Your final thoughts?
Guillermo Campoamor: Despite the adverse circumstances, we have managed to deploy our solutions in several cities during 2020 and are now present in Malta, Lisboa, Málaga, Valencia, Sevilla, Asturias, and Cyprus. And something big is happening soon… follow us on our social media channels to find out!