Tiago Silva PereiraFounder and CEO of WYZE Mobility
Trying to understand how he can increasingly impact the environment and society around him, Tiago Silva Pereira is founder and CEO of WYZE Mobility and founder of LAB Unobvious.
Previously, Tiago Silva Pereira was advisor to the Minister of Defense; consultant at the Portuguese Ministries of Economy and Defense; consultant and later deputy director-general at AgustaWestland and non-executive director at ANJE.
With a degree in Management, Tiago Silva Pereira is one of the special guests at PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS Connecting Stories.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your professional journey and experience?
I graduated in Management at the Catholic University of Porto in 2001, and that same year I joined the Contacto program, from aicep. I went to Paris, where I spent a year doing an internship at a company in the Sonae group. Then I came to Portugal and for a year and a half I had some brief experiences, among them advertising agencies, until I was invited to work with the then minister of Defense, Paulo Portas, as an advisor for economic affairs. I accepted that challenge and was involved in several economic counterpart contracts associated, in turn, with military equipment contracts.
Then, when the government changed, I didn't keep working with any office, because I came from a totally different government, although I had no special affiliation. But I kept working for some time as a consultant for this area of military counterparts and then I was invited to work with one of the biggest aeronautics manufacturers in the world, a challenge I accepted and where I was a kind of country manager here in Portugal, today Leonardo Helicopters. I worked with them for a few years until I got “tired” of having to wear the shirt and be someone's employee without feeling that I was truly contributing to my future. I decided to quit my job and set up my own consulting and business development company, where during the early days I was very involved in the aeronautical sector, which was the one I knew best. Soon I started to touch other sectors, namely the government sector in general, counterparts, business proposals, the real estate sector, the textile sector. I started expanding into other areas, but always looking to find my business. I wanted to have my long-term project and it would have to be something I could identify with completely.
I ended up finding that challenge, that call, in urban mobility, much because of the relationship I had been developing with CEiiA, a portuguese engineering center (with whom I've been working for many years). And CEiiA inspired me in relation to mobility in general and the unequivocal connection I gave to Wyze from the very first moment: from its conceptual basis to the UN's sustainable development goals. When I created Wyze, when it was still in my head and had no name, I already knew I wanted to set up a decarbonized urban mobility project that was aligned as much as possible with the UN's sustainable development goals, in addition to reducing CO2 emissions.
In 2019, we launched Wyze Mobility in Lisbon. Since then it has been a very intense journey, with challenges that I never imagined and that translate into learning and experience and that have prepared me and the company for a hopefully smoother future.
2. You are the CEO of Wyze. What is this project about?
Wyze is an urban mobility operator, with vehicles designed for short trips and for one or two people. They are typically two-wheeled vehicles. We started with 100% electric scooters and already have a large fleet.
We started our service with sharing, through our app, similar to other operators that already exist in the market. The basic model consists of: the customer finds a bike nearby, makes a trip, pays for the trip according to its duration, and then leaves the bike at its destination, in a predefined coverage area; the bike is then immediately available for the next customer.
This was the model we started with. The difference that we wanted to institute from the beginning was essentially that we are 100% decarbonized. We try to have vehicles that can be aesthetically impactful and we measure the CO2 footprint. So we quantify the CO2 emissions savings using CEiiA technology. And very soon we hope to start allowing our customers to trade that ecological footprint into benefits in our own service and in a network of partners that we want to build.
Until recently, we maintained this sharing service and now we are defining this same concept, because sharing is much more than that. It is the sharing of vehicles, but this sharing doesn't need to be exclusively done through an app and according to the minutes in which we use that vehicle. It can be done in another way, more or less analog, and for longer periods. We are extending the periods in which we rent our vehicles, from one day upwards. And we are also investing more and more in the corporate market. There is a huge potential for expansion. It decreases the potential revenue per vehicle, but it gives us another stability that, at this moment, is fundamental.
3. How does Wyze contribute to the development of Smart Cities?
First of all, we make cities more carbon-free. Wyze is 100% decarbonized from the very first hour. We have electric scooters, but to have our operation we are required to have vehicles to support the operation. And those vehicles are also 100% decarbonized. Right there we are making cities smarter.
Regarding the issue of noise, which I think is extremely important, we are also clearly contributing to a Smart City, because our vehicles do not emit any type of noise (from their engines, from their electronic components).
On the other hand, we have the aesthetic concern, which I think contributes to aesthetically curated cities. I think that, in this aspect, we are also in the service of a smarter city.
If we talk about IoT and connected cities, we also contribute in that direction, because our Wyze application is very much oriented towards reservations, it will be oriented towards everything that is payments through that very application (payments for services and products). In this aspect we are also contributing to the reduction of all paper documents. The onboarding part of our platform is done digitally, namely the presentation of documents to prove identity and the ability to use our vehicles. It's all digital.
In fact, we want Wyze to go far beyond just an urban mobility option. We want to influence the communities where we are present to adopt, in their daily lives, practices that lead to a positive and growing contribution to the UN's Agenda 2030. I think this is the biggest contribution we can make. And it always depends on how big we can get. The larger our geographic footprint, the more present we are in the cities, and the larger our customer base, the easier it will be for us to achieve this.
In my opinion, the contribution of any company should be to show people, citizens in general, and their customers in particular, that it is essential to adopt these behaviors and that it can be fun to do so. It doesn't have to be an obligation that is done with some sort of setback. It is something that should be adopted in an almost natural way and that should be as desired as possible by people, from the youngest to the oldest. We have that advantage, because we have clients ranging from 18 to 75 years old, so we have a wide range of potential targets.
4. In addition, you founded Unobvious LAB. What is this about?
Unobvious LAB is the home of Wyze, it is the showcase of Wyze's core values. Wyze's core principles are hedonism and impact. It is about a fun lifestyle, but always with the UN Agenda 2030 in mind. The goals of UN Agenda 2030 cover all the themes that we have adopted. So Wyze's goal is actually to propagate those two values, promoting a lifestyle that is fun, depending on one's sense of the word, and impactful at the same time.
And the Unobvious LAB is the showcase of all this. It is the beginning, the middle and the end of our urban travels. We want to give stage to the UN Agenda 2030 and this is a space where we have debates, where we have workshops, seminars, where we have video screenings and webinars related to that Agenda and much more. It's a house of entrepreneurs and creators.
I consider that the ideal for any artist is to have a very thick entrepreneurial vein, and I consider that for an entrepreneur it is fundamental to have a great deal of creativity. Since I am not an artist, but want to be a better and better entrepreneur, I feel the need to be influenced, to be positively influenced by creative minds. Therefore, I set up a house where I could start “cooking” this design here.
It's a house where I want people to come with different goals. Our slogan is “fuck the cliché”, be as anti-cliché as possible, be as surprising (not obvious) as possible.
Unobvious LAB is a large space that combines coworking with a hub for artistic creation and exhibition. We currently have seven or eight artists exhibiting here, both portuguese and foreign. I want this to be a space for all those who despise the cliché and want to have their independence and freedom to think, to act, to live. Above all, I want them to know that this is their home and that they can come here to work, to contemplate, to have a drink with friends, to socialize. People can also come here to debate issues, they can come here to learn, but also to teach. This is a very selfish project in that sense, because I need to learn and to be a better businessman, I want to be influenced and I want to bring those kinds of minds inside. On the other hand, I want to learn more and surround myself with more people who have that Agenda 2030 very present in their lives, so I say this is a selfish project. I want, first of all, to bring people around me who can make me much more efficient, both on a business and personal level. I want to exchange my experiences with others and somehow create a community of people who like to send the cliché for a ride.
5. From a technology perspective, what are the main challenges in urban mobility?
For us in particular, it has been a challenge to put technology at the service of our ideas. That is, when I defined the requirements for our technology, I always thought of commercial flexibility. And it is very complicated, for a service that has a technology base, to make that technology deliver to the market what you want to offer to the customers. In fact, I have always been far from that, because technology has always held me back. It is difficult to mold the technology to the ambitions of interaction with the customer.
Another challenge is the fact that technology allows me to intuitively and effectively analyze everything that is my project. What I thought was very simple before diving into this adventure, and as a provider of the service, is much more complex than I imagined. Technology should be very easy for the end customer, and that is the goal of any technology provider. But it is much more difficult from the point of view of the person offering that technology to put it at the service of their ambitions. We are working on that. We are currently changing our technology partner, namely everything from our frontend to our backend (from the client side to the operating system side). But we are still a few steps away from having all the flexibility we want to have. It is a very big challenge.
6. What are the benefits that come from a well planned mobility?
First of all, it's predictability. I like to know how long it will take me to get to my destination on any journey I make, and I don't like to waste time or money commuting. And urban mobility has to serve these ambitions. The less time and money we waste commuting, the more relaxed and happier we will be, because we will have more time to live, to enjoy life (whether at work or at home).
So mobility is almost a necessary "evil" that people find in their daily lives, especially those who live in cities. We want to turn mobility into a positive experience. And the experience becomes positive when we know how much we are going to spend in terms of time and money, and when we can make those trips in vehicles that transmit safety and that fit the lifestyle we want to have. We want people to be able to enjoy the city by riding two-wheeled vehicles and scooters in particular.
The scooter is almost a lifestyle icon that was born in the 1960s/1970s in Italy with vespas, and then spread around the world. But the 50 cm3 scooter conveys added safety. The scooter is limited to 45 kilometers per hour, which is almost like riding a bicycle from the point of view of the maximum speed it reaches. And it has three advantages in my opinion: you have a bigger helmet than bikes, you ride with your legs protected and you have a lower center of gravity. At the same time, we are in touch with the city, we are closer to things. We notice more details, especially with our silent scooters, which is not the case when we go by car.
7. Being PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS a company that develops and manufactures multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions for all kinds of industries, how, in your opinion, does technology contribute to urban mobility?
Technology makes an unequivocal contribution to urban mobility. We have always been technological. Without technology we would not have been able to offer a shared mobility service.
Technology can be the tool that allows us, the users, to customize our entire experience in the city. Through API's and connections to the service being provided, it allows us to plan, from morning to night, and according to our schedule, the most intelligent and efficient way (and using artificial intelligence) of mobility. We can select the best means of mobility according to our needs throughout the day. And there is a growing trend, which I hope will come quickly to Lisbon, which is “mobility as a service”, that is, there is an integration of the means of urban mobility. A good urban mobility service uses technology to integrate the various services available.
Technology still has to evolve a lot. To have this integration of services there has to be a harmonization, a connection with all the legal aspects for all the vehicles that need a driver's license. We are just a few steps away from seeing this happen. Technology makes it easier, but it can make it much easier in the near future. And I hope we can be promoters of that form of technological integration.
Connecting Stories is an editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.