Dedicated to urban mobility, VOLL, like many other companies, needed to rethink its performance with the beginning of social isolation. And the strategy worked: At the end of last year, the startup doubled the number of users on her platform from 100 thousand to 200 thousand. There are also over 200 customers in the portfolio, most of them large ones, such as Banco Itaú, Telefônica/Vivo, TIM, Claro, Cargill, Sodexo, McDonald’s, Banco Votorantim, Heineken, and PepsiCo.
In this issue, we talked to Jordana Souza, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of VOLL, a startup that offers complete technology for the management of corporate mobility.
How was 2020 for VOLL?
I think for VOLL, as well as for everyone, it was an extremely challenging year, because we deal with mobility and the decree was “stay home, nobody on the street”. So, in the first two weeks, we asked ourselves what to do, where to go.
Then, we created contingency plans to ensure the customers’ operations. PepsiCo, for example needs to ensure that the product arrives on the shelf at the end of the day, that the restocker can go to the supermarket, the store etc. This audience was not in the taxi, it was not on the platform, but on public transport. We managed to get people migrating to VOLL, by managing the displacement, ensuring the safety of companies employees we were already serving.
So, this was the first reinvention: change the perception of companies value, which stopped looking only at what was cheaper and started to worry about the security that the moment requires and demands. It was like that for PepsiCo, Heineken, McDonald’s and so on.
We also accelerated the negotiation with companies that were already ahead in the conversations, and we also took the opportunity to accelerate our project of having an end-to-end trip system, which is the one-stop shop — such launch was made last year.
Finally, 2020 was an extremely challenging year. We did not need to pivot our business; however, we took the opportunity to accelerate projects and create new opportunities within the portfolio we were already serving.
In specific numbers, how was your expansion in 2020?
We grew 45% compared to 2019. In a pandemic year, we increased the volume of transactions and customers. In fact, we doubled our customer portfolio. Until September, we were serving 100 thousand users on the platform, we closed the year with 200 thousand.
On average, how much a company saves by contracting VOLL?
Today, we have an average of 35% reduction in the total cost of transportation. For Telefonica, it was 38%. For PepsiCo was even greater, they had a reduction of 40% in the first year of implementation, and this became their global case.
You mentioned that you launched a new product last year. What was launched exactly?
We launched what we call the trip system integrated with mobility. Today, in order to take a corporate trip, you have to enter systems that work only via web and do not communicate with your urban path, which understands that mobility starts only at the airport. Those are systems that have not been updated for ten years — and that are still not primarily mobile.
The novelty we bring is first a mobile-first experience, and is in a system that we already work with, we bring our concept of mobility as a service, of the user being at the center of mobility, and we also guarantee all data security.
Today, in the app, you have the tab “my trips” and can get the voucher, the hotel address, the flight locator, order a taxi, or even order food for delivery, because we are integrated with Uber Eats. Everything from your mobile.
How is the flow of business trip?
At the beginning of last year, it fell by almost 100%, because the airports were closed. But today, for example, 92% of the Azul air network has resumed, when compared to 2020. Gol as well. In general, the corporate networks have already resumed 60% or 70%.
There are also companies that have not interrupted trips. We served Andrade Gutierrez, which has works in all of Brazil, so its employees and executives need to travel. Some sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, industry, did not stop even at the height of the pandemic.
And what is the potential of this market?
The travel market revenue in Brazil in 2019 was R$76 billion. Before the pandemic, the forecast was that this market would earn US$1.7 trillion worldwide. This is undoubtedly a market very impacted by the pandemic, but companies that still need to travel have changed their focus. It is not only a matter of economy, but also of guaranteeing the safety of the employee, of guaranteeing a better interface to communicate with the agency. My application has a chat with a consultant, sends notifications about risk areas for Covid-19, warns if a flight has been canceled, etc.
And what are the prospects for VOLL in 2021?
With the resumption, we project a growth for VOLL of more than 100%, with the increase of the new travel product. We see many opportunities, and many challenges, because we are working with a culture change in this market, which is looking for a different solution, but still has a lot of attachment to traditional models. We are managing to break this resistance, showing that the technology is there to give us more visibility, security, autonomy, and practicality.
It is much more the culture change of than that of the end user, because the travelers already have this experience in their life when traveling, why does it have to be boring and different for corporate travel?
Are there any new funding in sight?
Yes, we will open the Series A funding soon. We intend to use funding in order to invest in marketing, sales front, and in product improvement, as a new budget module, anti-fraud system, and so on.