Wunder Mobility interviewed Teodor Rachev, CEO & Founder of Hobo, to know how was the migration from their previous software provider to Wunder Mobility. In the migration process Hobo’s main concern was to preserve customers and their data. By following Wunder’s advice and working together, a clear plan was made and the migration happened seamlessly overnight.
Could you introduce yourself and explain how Hobo started?
My name is Teodor Rachev and I am CEO and co-founder of Hobo Bulgaria, which we founded back in 2019. I personally have five years of experience in the micromobility sector in both Sofia and London. We started the idea of Hobo shortly after one of my returns from London. It was based mostly on my observations of the transport services there, and especially the shared services there, like bike and car sharing. I was really inspired to provide such opportunities in my hometown of Sofia in Bulgaria and so I decided to do some homework. I collected a lot of data and I shared these ideas with two close friends. One of them is actually one of my co-founders, Todor. He has a great background in finance and our views are really aligned. The other person, Boris, is now one of our closest advisors to the company – he has been successful with his experience in startups, including two exits. Although the funding opportunities in Eastern Europe are limited, we found great strategic partners as angel investors, and later on great local support for our ideas and the whole mission.
How many and what kind of vehicles do you have on the streets at the moment?
Currently we have around 400 e-scooters and are working with two manufacturers, OKAI and Acton. We operate in four cities in Bulgaria and will soon be starting an exclusive tender with one small municipality, starting with just 30 units. It’s really interesting for us and we hope to double the fleet there for the next season.
You’ve migrated to Wunder’s software solution last year. What kind of challenges were you facing that led you to this decision?
Yes, we moved to the Wunder platform in September 2020. One of the main points that led to this change was freedom for customization. With our previous software, for example, we were somewhat limited in regards to customization opportunities, and especially integrations. This, as well as different customer application functionalities, are really important for us.
Why did you choose to work with Wunder?
Again, the freedom and the opportunities that come with the open API. These give us diverse options for partnerships. In addition, SDK integrations allow us to add different layers and different services on top of what is already provided. This is really important for us and these aspects support our path for growth, so this is one of the main reasons we chose to work with Wunder. And of course it is a great team!
There’s the idea that a software migration can be very complicated and have an impact on operations. What was the migration process like when you changed from your previous solution to Wunder’s platform?
We have now been operating for slightly over two years, however back then, we were still just starting out. And for a company starting out, one of the most important things is the customer base. If the customer base is new, then it’s fragile – you’re starting to prove yourself, but you’re still not a big name yet and you have strong competitors. So this was the most important topic for us: to not lose any customers and to maintain the full profile of each customer. We didn’t want them to have to do any additional steps, for example adding details, phone numbers, email addresses etc. into their profile again. It was really important for us to preserve this data. If I think back to the migration process, the cooperation between the Wunder migration team and our development specialist was perfect – we safely migrated all of our customers and we preserved all of the data. Our customers basically woke up the next morning and just started using the new application and our services like usual.
Did you experience any hurdles during the migration process?
Back then our operational working times were between early morning until midnight, so we took the recommendation from the Wunder team and decided to start the migration at night. This was a really good decision, especially when keeping our customers in mind. We basically didn’t stop our service at all – our users just received the message the next morning that they needed to update their application and could then proceed with the same profile. All their data was still there.
How did Wunder support you in the period leading up to the migration itself?
Behind the physical migration there was a really well planned process. It took maybe around a month. It was really important for us that everything was done correctly, especially when it came to the data and all the details to consider, including the payment processor. It’s not easy to move from one software to another, but the Wunder migration team did a great job supporting us and by folllowing their advice it was easy. We are really pleased that everything went well.
Would you recommend other operators thinking of migrating to consider the Wunder platform?
As mentioned, when you’re just starting your business, like in our case, it’s really important to find the right partner to continue your growth. We were exactly at the point where we were thinking about our growth, so that led to the decision to move forward with Wunder. For us, Wunder Mobility is a perfect match. And so we as a company, as well as myself personally, would definitely recommend Wunder as a really valuable partner.
Can you already say if you’ve seen an impact on your operations since the migration?
Yes, we’ve had some good months. Especially since the summer months, the rides data has been going strong. It’s running well and in line with our plans – we are at a growth point and have multiplied both our rides and user base by 4x and our revenue by 2.5x. So yes, we are definitely moving in the desirable direction!
What is the future outlook for Hobo?
We are really focusing on providing the best quality and match between software and hardware, that’s our goal. We are currently providing this in our current markets and our next steps are to expand our service into Eastern Europe and Southeastern Europe as well – we are strongly focusing on that. So hopefully next season we will have some good surprises to share!
Thank you Teodor! It has been a pleasure to work with you.