Tandem Mobility and Movatic Interview
Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Founder and CEO of Tandem Mobility, Keli Hoyt-Rupert, spent some time talking with our partner Movatic, and shared all the details on Tandem's new venture in the micromobility space. Read the interview below:
How did Tandem get started?
Tandem got started earlier this year in 2020 as a result of the pandemic that shook up the micromobility industry- with players like Zagster closing up shop. As a long time Zagster employee, I wasn’t ready to leave the industry and saw an opportunity to take what worked well at Zagster and build on it, while of course working to improve the things that may not have been working well for communities or for maintaining a long term sustainable business.
I got connected with Ansgar and Movatic, and it was the perfect opportunity to ensure we could provide turnkey operations to our communities while utilizing the tools and resources of the best software platform in the industry. So Tandem was born with the primary vision of providing consultative, flexible, turnkey bike share and micromobility offerings.
What should everybody know about Tandem and the services and benefits the company offers?
Tandem Mobility was born out of a desire to help develop and manage complete mobility solutions with our community partners. We focus on aligning people, tech, and data around your community's goals - not the other way around. By partnering with premium providers in the industry - enter Movatic software, we are able to deliver a turnkey solution that allows you to focus on improving mobility programming while we seamlessly execute on the details.
The other key benefit is our flexibility. We know that every community is different and so we can’t expect a one size fits all solution. Aside from our standard turnkey product offering, we created a menu of offerings so you can build a program that is right for your specific community. Perhaps you have a local organization willing to handle the day to day operations- great! We can set you up with assets, software, and consulting. Maybe post-Zagster, you are apprehensive about leasing assets- perfect. We can connect you with a hardware solution and then provide software and operations. We are flexible, and our goal is to get bike share rolling in your community- whatever that may look like in your city.
What makes Tandem unique?
My background and experience has always been on the relationship and community side of the business, and so my goal from the start with Tandem was to stay true to that even as we scale. We want to be your trusted advisor and consultant on bike share, working in tandem with you and your community. Our vision goes beyond bikes, as we look to shape complete mobility and recreational programs. With Tandem, you have a partner who is ready to adapt and support you in a rapidly changing environment, all to provide a solution that meets your community’s needs. Everyone says it, but we mean it and it’s a part of our culture!
What does the Movatic solution mean for operators like Tandem Mobility?
Operating bike share is not easy, and we understood from the jump the value of tech in helping us to provide the right product to communities. We wanted to find somebody who would really partner with us to help customize the software to meet our communities specific needs. This ultimately led to Movatic stepping in as our outside CTO as a service. By partnering with Movatic, we have been able to focus on improving processes, supply chain, and scalability, because the tools to manage the day to day operations are seamless and integrated. The same way Tandem is truly turnkey for communities so they can focus on things like advocating for improved programming and infrastructure, Movatic is that for us as operators. It enables us to focus on improving and growing our business while the software manages the daily complexities and realities of bike share operations.
How do you see micromobility in the future?
In the past year or so, we have seen the rise and fall of dockless bike share in small to medium-sized cities, and arguably the same for scooter share in these size communities. I think what we are about to see is the resurgence of more traditional dock-based bike share in these locations with a keen understanding that it may not always fully solve a transportation problem- and that's okay. For many communities, bike share is a recreational amenity and the pandemic has shown us that people are eager to be outside experiencing their local trails and greenways, and bike share is proving to be the trusted vehicle to do so.
Tandem is set up to work with these small to medium-sized cities as trusted advisors and consultants in micromobility to help them understand the best solution for their unique communities' needs. That may look like recreational bike share, or last-mile solutions utilizing bike share and bike parking, or integration with local transit agencies.
Dockless bike share and scooter share failed these communities; they were forgotten about, but this is exactly where our solution fits best and where we can make the most impact as a full-service provider. I am excited to see and lead this progress over the next few years!
Is there anything you would like to share about being a woman founder in this industry?
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, one thing I continue to notice is the different perspective a woman's voice provides as we look to provide solutions for communities. After all, we are solving for all people within a community, so all voices should be part of the solution!
It’s my obligation to highlight and include women’s voices across all conversations. Part of that includes the creation of a culture at Tandem that is diverse and welcoming, with a breadth of experiences and perspectives, and making that culture a leadership priority as we continue to grow and scale.