Canary invested US$980k in Mobees, a Brazilian adtech startup for rideshare services.
(Contxto) Brazilian Mobees is mixing mobility and tech to give drivers an additional source of income. No, not through a ride-hailing platform mind you, but via publicity.
By giving marketers an opportunity to advertise more, Mobees recently raised R$5 million (~US$938,000) in an investment round led by Canary. A group of 20 angel investors also contributed including the founders of Ingresse, Yellow, Volanty, and iFood.
Mobees’ take on advertising
Mobees takes old school publicity, car-mounted ads, and provides a touch of technology.
Through LED smart signs placed on a car’s rooftop, advertisers can schedule their campaigns through Mobees to display the content they want their target audience to see, as a driver goes about.
For example, if a car is taking a passenger to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio for a match between the Flamengo and Vasco da Gama clubs, advertisers will likely want to promote beer, merchandise, or snacks to squeeze more sales out of the occasion.
In addition, by partnering with drivers on ride-hailing platforms or other transportation services (like taxis), the startup wants motorists to earn some extra mullah.
Drivers have to complete 40 hours of driving per week to ensure that the ad campaign gets the desired coverage. So as a partner on Uber goes about picking up and dropping off passengers, they earn extra money through Mobees’ advertising.
Because the startup works with fixed amounts when paying drivers, there is no incentive for them to work overtime.
At the moment, Mobees says it operates with 100 partnering drivers in the city of Rio de Janeiro. However, it aims to expand within the state and country “soon.”
Promising product, weird timing
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, this type of solution may sound odd to some. Rightly so, sources at O Globo reported that the deal between Mobees and investors was closed in March of this year, slightly before Covid-19 spread intensified and chased everyone indoors.
A couple of months later, and at the start of July, the startup kicked off operations. As the contagion curve in Brazil lessens, Mobees believes its solution will gain force.