On the Road to Scaling Up: A Case Study with RoadCube
RoadCube is a mobile platform that enables drivers to discover and acquire the best services and goods for their vehicle while on the road. The team joined The Accelerator 2015 to validate their product, solidify their business plan, expand their global presence, and pitch… perfect. Almost a year after their accelerated experience, we caught up with them to find out how they are cruising their way to success.
Imagine this: You are driving by the sea, the sun is shining, the weather is sweet, and the soft summer breeze is blowing through your hair until… your car runs out of gas. On any other date and time, this perfect picture could quickly take a downturn – with you trying to figure out where the closest gas station could be. Why we are saying on any other time? Because RoadCube, a Greek startup and The Accelerator 2015 alumnus, saw in this setback a unique business opportunity.
Covering daily needs and emergency support alike, the versatile RoadCube mobile platform instantly connects drivers with thousands of car service companies. With a dynamic presence in Greece and California, RoadCube is expanding rapidly to include other locations and grow its client base. Let us see how the team is hitting the RoadCube of growth.
Driving a Strong Value Proposition – The 3600 RoadCube Way
RoadCube is a mobile platform aiming at car service companies, such as gas stations, parking lots, car wash and repair stations… even insurance companies for drivers. Yet, a true business road is almost never one-way.
And while RoadCube gives car-related businesses the opportunity to create a direct digital channel with drivers and sell their products online, it allows drivers to enjoy their services with the press of a button. In fact, individual users can compare fuel prices, instantly buy gas, purchase their parking space or car wash service, and call for road assistance.
Indeed, as Dimitris Kalavasis, Founder of RoadCube, states “We are trying to think of our value proposition in a 3600 way. Businesses increase their sales by attracting new clients and retaining existing ones through loyalty and other award programs, offered exclusively through our platform. On the other hand, users can discover and readily secure the best offer possible.”
What is so special about it? Stelios Doxopoulos, Chief Sales Officer at RoadCube says “This is how we distinguish our platform from other similar services: we make things easier than making a call! Upon launch, the drivers can compare on their RoadCube map all offers available in their area and purchase with a click of a button. And car serving companies instantly reach their highest potential customers: those that need their services right then and there.”
Product-Market Fit – Getting on the Right Track
Usually, the road to success also includes bumps, setbacks, and running-out-of-gas moments. For RoadCube, that critical moment was finding the right product-market fit. Many things change while any startup is trying to prove that its product can fit in a specific market; that it answers its users’ needs. And RoadCube was no exception.
As Kalavasis recalls “One of our initial hypotheses was that drivers will use our app every time they needed any type of service for their car. Eventually, we realized that creating an app with useful features would not be enough for RoadCube to turn into a bigger or sustainable business – we needed to create a needs-driven service appropriate to the circumstances drivers find themselves in. So first came our focus on mobile services. Car servicing and repairing are valuable, yet mostly planned activities. What we needed to cater to where on-the-road instant needs of drivers, from finding gas to calling for emergency assistance.”
And he continues, “Having designed a situation-specific solution, it has come down to making it increasingly more functional – and sticky. We had to make the UX simple, attractive, and fast. And at the same time, we continuously strive to give our users incentives to log into our platform in order to retain them.”
Getting the Show on the Road – The Metavallon Experience
When the team at RoadCube decided to apply to The Accelerator 2015, the aim was strong and clear: the Metavallon experience would empower them to build their capacities, recalibrate their entrepreneurial thinking, and gear up for global domination through business expansion.
“What we were missing at the time was prioritizing our goals. We had a strong vision about our product and where we wanted to go, yet not a clear idea on what we should pursue first”, says Kalavasis.
Did the team get what they expected? “Being part of The Accelerator was a future-shaping experience. It helped us revise and refine our business strategy, create the right structure to foster our plans and next moves, and prepare for our investment-seeking and pitching days. Most importantly: through its Experts as well as Program Partners and Allies, it gave us unique opportunities for market entry and investment.”
Driving the Car Into Success with Groundbreaking Partnerships
RoadCube’s eye is set on growth. Deciding on an effective business model was the first step the team took towards generating revenue to keep their engine going. “RoadCube adds value and also monetizes on both sides. We use a subscription model with a setup fee for car service companies and RoadCube adds value and also monetizes on both sides”, explains Doxopoulos.
With the team more confident than ever about their product, their market, and their business strategy, the venture has managed to gain steadily significant market traction. And it was the right time for the team to explore possible collaborations that would help RoadCube grow bigger and faster.
“Sealing big and promising partnerships was our main goal right since our “graduation” from The Accelerator 2015. In fact, since last October, we have partnered up with the likes of ParkWhiz in the US, continent-wide Europ Assistance, and PolisPark in Greece. We are also a select Ford Developers member and are in direct collaboration with the Ford team on their connected car services in the US.”
Through these partnerships, users can compare prices for 7,000 gas stations in Greece and over 12,000 on US soil. Even more, they can pay almost 40 businesses through the platform’s payment gateway. Users can also claim one of the 700 parking spots available in 3 cities in the US and enjoy road assistance anywhere in Greece.
Planning ahead – Going where the RoadCube Takes You
With a rapidly growing client base and an effective business model, the team is working on a few exciting new features. This coming fall, the team will introduce a much-anticipated update on their innovative platform. “Our users will be able to make geolocation calls to their Roadside Assistance. It is a feature that we have been working on for quite some time and we are really excited about”, reveals Doxopoulos.
As for what comes next, Kalavasis sets his mind upon the future of RoadCube. What does it involve? “Our business: staying current, relevant, and present in the market. We really want to be a company that delivers true value to both individual users and companies. So, yes, growing through investment, focusing on user acquisition, expanding our business, and maintaining our current client base are our top goals for the next few years.”
All roads lead to… our blog! If you enjoyed RoadCube’s journey, here are a few things that will get your reading going:
- The Road to Investment: How Fundacity and Metavallon Source the Most Innovative Startups in Europe
- The Art of Disruption – A Case Study with MyiArts
- Metavallon and Startups Unstoppable in the Spotlight