Finnish venture MaaS Global’s product is Whim, the leading Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform that makes it possible for users to plan, book, and pay for all their journeys with different public and private transport options using one easy-to-use mobile application. We spoke to Sampo Hietanen, CEO at MaaS Global, about how their solution can help revolutionise transportation and help the energy sector decarbonise.
Can you tell us a bit about the company and its founders?
MaaS Global is the global leader in the field of MaaS and the company behind the award-winning Whim app. Users can journey where and when they want by public transport, taxi, car, bike, e-scooter, and many more options. Whim has revolutionised users’ travel habits, in favour of sustainable modes. Whim is available in several markets in Europe and in Japan.
I founded MaaS Global in 2015. I came up with the concept of MaaS, which is set to revolutionise the 10 trillion euro transport sector. My background is in civil engineering, and before founding MaaS Global, I headed different international businesses in the field. Our company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.
How does your solution contribute to the Digitalisation and Decarbonisation of the energy sector?
At the moment one-quarter of global emissions come from transport. Emissions released by the transport sector grow fast and, if nothing changes, by 2030 a whopping 40% of global CO2 emissions will come from transportation.
Making cars just a little bit better or continuing to fill the roads and cities with electric cars will not make the difference needed. There is a need for a fundamental change in what kind of mobility choices we make. Digitalisation and technological innovations enable us to create exactly this kind of disruption.
Our goal is to create the best solutions for sustainable mobility and offer people the ability to move freely when and wherever they like. By integrating a wide variety of mobility options, Whim’s MaaS application makes it possible to use the already existing infrastructure, fleets and mobility services more efficiently.
What is your company’s proudest achievement to date?
Our proudest achievement was when the Smithsonian Design Museum explored mobility and the urban environment. On one side of the exhibition was the original Futurama and on the other side the future of mobility, e.g. Whim.
What specifically attracts you about the prospect of expanding to the Japanese market?
First of all, our Japanese investors and their interest in playing an active role in modernising mobility in the Japanese market was a substantial encouragement. But most importantly, with 126 million inhabitants, Japan is a market with very high potential for MaaS business due to its high functioning transport services and infrastructure.
How will your solution/product help advance the Japanese energy sector?
As electric cars become more widespread, the power generation and distribution industries will forge new ties with a wide array of other industries. New demand will have to be managed at a time of broader sustainability transformation. Our product is a tying platform for all transportation modes, and for industries to get familiar with transportation evolution and prepare for this transformation.