Hello Friends

This week we got our most important release of 2019: The Airline Digital Index (ADiX).

This report benchmarks the leading 26 airlines in Europe and the Americas based on their digital maturity measured via 38 quantifiable metrics.

If you only had time to read one thing from us this year, this would likely be the best option

We've been working on this piece for much of the year. It includes the analysis of literally hundreds of thousands of data points from various sources.

The ADiX contains the first-ever data-driven ranking of the most digital airlines in the Western world

On top of an overall digital airline ranking, we look at dozens of individual metrics in more detail, for instance, benchmarking the leading airlines across performance indicators such as:

For a complete overview of all airlines that are part of the ADiX, learn more here.

It's also the first time we are charging money for any of our research

Not because we are getting greedy, but in order to justify the immense effort we put into bringing more transparency on the state of digitalization to the entire airline industry and sharing these insights with everyone – not just our parent company.

We want to continue driving forward the development of the entire aviation industry towards a more digital future. You can help us do that by buying the report. If not interesting to you, don't worry. We have tons of free content in today's newsletter again.

Reading time: 3 minutes. Enjoy.

Lennart Dobravsky
Director Research & Intelligence, Lufthansa Innovation Hub


The environmental impact of today’s transport types

In the face of the ongoing sustainability debate and the often-cited detrimental effects of today’s transportation modes on our environment, we decided to bring more fact-based evidence to the discussion.

We collected as many available data points from reputable sources as possible to rank all of today’s major mobility types based on their estimated average carbon-emission output.

The results are shown in our latest infographic, ranking 22 types of transportation, ranging from walking and bike riding all the way to flying in an aircraft.
What do we learn?

Planes beat cars

The most interesting takeaway: while airlines are currently in the focus of public discussion and often scapegoated as the primary CO2 pollutant of our planet, data shows that intercontinental long-haul flights produce fewer carbon emissions (per passenger and kilometer) than diesel and gasoline-based cars. The WallStreet Journal just recently confirmed these findings.

However, cars have a clear technological endgame in sight: electric vehicles. Electric cars already score much better and will likely further improve over the long term.

E-kick-scooters have a long way to go

All e-scooter companies have long marketed themselves as the most “environmentally friendly“ new urban-mobility mode. However, current data indicate that scooters are not as green as operators make us believe they are.

The main problem lies in the short lifespan of most first-generation scooters (around three months) and wasteful charging practices, which make up over 90% of the current carbon emissions generated.

Fortunately, many scooter providers are putting lots of effort into solving these two major shortcomings in their current operating models (at least if we can trust their public announcements).

TIER Mobility is leading the pack

Berlin-based scooter provider TIER recently announced to implement removable batteries into their scooters, which will hopefully eliminate the insane practice of driving around in gasoline-based vans to collect, maintain, charge and distribute the scooters on the streets.

Furthermore, TIER claims that its latest scooter-hardware will last up to 24 months. Last but not least, the company committed to becoming carbon-neutral from 2020 onwards.

All promising signs. Let’s see how scooters score in next year’s carbon-emission ranking. We will keep you posted.


Competition in urban shared mobility is intensifying – who will survive?

COUP, the Bosch-owned e-scooter sharing provider, announced last week that it will discontinue its services by the end of 2019. 
The unexpected announcement sent a big shock wave through the Berlin tech ecosystem, as COUP was largely considered one of the leading Vespa-like electric scooter providers in Europe. The company has generated over 500,000 app downloads worldwide with an average of 40,000 monthly active users. All in only two years since company founding.

Bosch didn't think COUP was economically viable anymore

The stated reason for discontinuation was because COUP was deemed “not economically feasible over the long term” according to official statements.

Competition in the urban-transport landscape has intensified dramatically in recent years. Many users seem to switch from shared bikes and electric Vespa-like scooters to ride-hailing and car-sharing services, especially during the colder months.
After the Coup announcement, many users on Social Media actually expressed that they recently started substituting Coup scooters with car-hailing services such as Uber, Free Now and WeShare. Not only because of the colder weather but due to better availability and very aggressive price discounts.

Consolidation in urban mobility to take off in 2020

Either way, the COUP case is a confirmation of increasing competitiveness (and soon-to-follow consolidation) in the mobility industry. The shut down illustrates how hard ventures have to fight to keep their spot on the overcrowded transport map.

To learn more about the current leaders in all categories of urban mobility, check out our New Transportation Leaderboard illustrating the top players with whom COUP and others compete over customers.

What are your thoughts on the COUP shut down? Let us know at
 Press Picks 

Our recommended must reads 

SUPER-APP ALERT I – Amazon adds bus tickets in India in pursuit of super-app strategy. Amazon may have shut down its embryonic hotel booking business back in 2015, but that didn’t mean it was done with the travel sector.
 Read more on Skift
SUPER-APP ALERT II – Google has expanded its Maps product form only navigating users from A to B to becoming the digital gatekeeper of the physical retail world. It has introduced in-app bookings and now is on its way to dominating the transactional world.
 Read more on ProcusWire
AIRASIA SELLING COMPETITOR'S TICKETS – AirAsia partners with virtual-interlining provider to include offerings of other carriers on its platform, expanding its  destination network. It also wants to reposition itself as a one-stop-shop for travel and lifestyle services.
 Read more on Skift
FLIXBUS TO YOUR CRUISE – Flixbus and Costa Cruises closed a partnership that will allow cruise passengers to book Flixbus as a transfer from their homes to Costa homeports. By consolidating their services in one booking flow, both companies gained access to new audiences.
 Read more on Cruise Industry
HOPPER DISRUPTS WITH FREEZE OPTION – Price-prediction startup Hopper now allows its customers to freeze a price on flights for up to a week to give them more time to decide. Users will pay a small deposit that will be reimbursed once they booked the saved flight.
 Read more on Travel+Leisure
 Funding Update 

Most recent Venture Capital deals

 = Exit Alert (startup listed at the stock exchange or got acquired)

 = Unicorn Alert (post-deal company valuation at >$1B) 

Bounce – the Indian scooter rental startup raised $150M from B Capital and Accel Partners India. 

May Mobility – the Michigan-based autonomous shuttle startup raised $50M in a Series B round led by Toyota Motor Corp. 

Heetch – the French ride-hailing startup raised $42M from Total Ventures, Cathay Capital Private Equity, and further investors. 

Superpedestrian – the Massachusetts-based startup developing lightweight electric vehicles raised $20M from Spark Capital, General Catalyst, and further investors. 

Shuttl – the Indian bus aggregator raised $18M from SPARX Group and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. 

Leavy – the Paris-based provider of an all-in-one travel credit application for millennials raised $14M in a seed funding round from Prime Ventures and angel investor Dominique Vidal. 

TravelTriangle – the Indian online marketplace for personalized holiday packages raised $13M from KB Global Platform fund and The Fundamentum Partnership Fund I. 

SWAT Mobile – the Singapore-based online platform for intelligent and cost-effective solutions to commute raised $10M from the University of Tokyo Edge Capital, ComfortDelGro Ventures, and further investors. 

Yulu Bikes – the Bangalore-based electric bike-sharing platform raised $8M from Bajaj Auto. 

Skyports – the UK-based passenger and cargo vertiports raised $7M (£5.35M) from Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, Groupe ADP, and further investors. 

Hometime – the Australia-based property management startup for Airbnb hosts raised $6.7M from NAB Ventures and AS1 Growth Partners. 

 Gotcha Mobility – the US-based ride-sharing and bike rental services provider was acquired by OjO Electric for $12M. 

Lvyue Travel Group – the Chinese hotel operator and software developer raised an undisclosed amount of Series A+ venture funding in a deal led by Tencent Holdings, Baidu, and Sequoia Capital. 

HappyEasyGo – the Indian online travel platform for flight ticket booking raised an undisclosed amount of Series B+ venture funding from Samsung, UOB Ventures, and further investors. 

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