The Rapid Growth of the Scooter Commuter
In this audio interview, we're speaking with Pedro Guedes, representing the Frog scooter brand.
To quote from their website, "As climate change, rapid urbanization, and population growth continue to challenge our world’s cities, Frog is on a mission to encourage and equip cities to Leap Forward toward a sustainable future."
Frog as a company has a carbon-neutral supply chain and gives back 1% to sustainable nonprofits because they believe in their mission in moving towards more sustainable ways of living. Going green and leaping forward to a more sustainable future suddenly make it clear where Frog got its name from.
Listen along as we discuss a great case study around scooter usage, growth, and sustainability.
Pedro Guedes, Director of Global Operations at Frog.
How did Frog get started?
The genesis of Frog was basically that it started with the growth of the shared scooter rental business and Frog had a very clear path in terms of distinguishing itself from recent competitors. From the get-go, Frog had a vertical integration, which means they produced their own scooter model. It was essential that the form factor had a competitive edge.
What was the inspiration behind the company name and logo?
Well, I actually don’t know the specifics, I wasn’t involved in the genesis of the company. We always thought we were going to fast forward this very necessary solution into the future, so it came about as Frog and “leap forward” which is our catchphrase. It’s easy to pronounce and very international, so it works well.
What makes Frog unique?
First of all, this an industry that’s been moving really fast. The first company started out in Santa Monica and then suddenly spreading to new countries around the world.
It terms of competitiveness, we’ve received great feedback from the beginning when we launched here in Lisbon- we launched at the same day, same time in Chile and South America. I mean, the feedback was amazing. It was clear that our model was the most secure model out there and this gave confidence to people.
Since the beginning, we had a strong push in terms of organizing our operations so that our scooter would fit into the city and be part of the city, not just something that would impact the “harmony” of the city. We pushed for a good and robust vehicle with safety above all.
Are there any particular advantages that you’ve seen while you’ve been using Movatic?
Definitely. This goes back to what I said about running an efficient operation- I mean, you’re creating a relationship with the city. It’s key to know where your scooters are and if they have any problems. Movatic offers all of that information from the dashboard just logging in. If you dive deeper, you get a lot of information in terms of rentals, which locations can generate more sales, and the possibility to integrate via API.
Thinking back, what’s one of your biggest accomplishments?
It’s been an uphill battle. A lot of effort went into showing people that our solution works. We also had the opportunity to boost local businesses. We did partnerships, coworking spaces, special prices to local shoppers. This is about going from point A to point B and if you can get a reward, that’s even better. Being a part of the community, people received us with open arms surprisingly.
What advice would you give to somebody who is brand new to this industry?
That’s a tough one- I’m a great example, so I’ll talk about my personal example. You have to understand your business when you’re working in it, so I made sure I didn’t use my car for a while to see what my customers would encounter. I would go to the office riding my scooter and you know, there’s a step that people need to feel comfortable with because suddenly, you’re riding in streets with cars and some drivers aren’t that respectable about bikes and scooters, so you have to be very conscious when you ride.
Suddenly, I was leaving the office to go to meetings with 5 or 10 minutes beforehand because I knew I would get there quickly not because I was speeding, but because I wasn’t stopping in traffic and searching for parking spots
Any new projects for the new year?
Obviously, 2020 was atypical- for negative reasons but some positive reasons came out of there. For example, we had a strong lockdown in Lisbon during March and April, and a lot of cities used this opportunity with the lack of traffic to build more bike paths and infrastructure for our solutions. Frog is also working on a direct-to-consumer aspect of the business with e-bikes and foldable scooters. The mentality is changing and the need to substitute cars is big, so there’s also an opportunity there. We’re disrupting an industry and it’s never easy to disrupt.