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HERE Mobility Marketplace aims to be the Agora for Urban Living

by Yiru Zhong, Principal Analyst

July

 

My colleague, Christina Patsioura, regularly educates me on her heritage and enriches my social and historical perspective.  Recently, we both visited HERE Mobility at the London Tech Week, whose new demo at the ExCel Centre hint at their ambitions to be the Agora of Ancient Greece.  In ancient times, Agora became the focal point for citizens to exchange goods, services and information.  As Christina explains it, Agora is the marketplace where exchanges take place, be these transactions of goods and services or the exchange of movement, traffic, public affairs and gossip information.  In current times, HERE Mobility aims to be the aggregator of sellers and buyers, aspiring to cultivate the Agora for urban living.  

HERE Mobility, a mobility service offered out of HERE Technologies, is self-described as an open platform for urban transportation services with a 2-sided business model. As HERE Mobility Marketplace, it operates an interface to aggregate different types of mobility service suppliers to match buyers of said services.  With the same HERE Mobility Marketplace, it also operates a buyer facing interface that allows businesses such as those in hospitality or transportation to create the desired digital experience of the urban citizen as she navigates through the city.  Besides the Marketplace, HERE Mobility also provides Mobility Dispatch, the dispatching system for suppliers to enable real time fleet utilisation. Since HERE Mobility was announced in January 2018, they have increased their exposure to more than 120 cities globally, with 50% of these suppliers also opting for HERE Mobility Dispatch.  

I am intrigued by the way HERE Mobility describes itself.  It uses the words “Platform” and “marketplace” and appears to use it interchangeably.  According to Beecham Research's IoT Pilot Service
, the former “platform” is defined as the “intelligent layer that connects things to the network and abstract applications from things in order to enable the development of services”. “Marketplace” is a more appropriate description of HERE Mobility’s purpose.  In our analysis of the IoT platform market, not many platform vendors have a B2B2C focus.  If the broader IoT market aims to incorporate end users into any IoT applications, in this case, citizens in IoT-enabled smart cities, then a modern-day Agora that aggregates buyers and sellers to exchange goods, services and information is urgently needed.

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