The startup which specializes in on-demand transportation technologies sells its software source code and intellectual property to Losch’s innovation department.
Photo: Nathalie Kettenhoffen leads Cube4T8, which is mainly active in mobility solutions and which will further develop UFT’s software / Credits © Cube4T8
Cube4T8, the think tank of Losch – the Luxembourgish general importer for cars, trucks, and busses of the Volkswagen group, dealership owner, and real estate player – has acquired the source code and intellectual property of UFT‘s mobility software.
The Luxembourgish startup, specializes in on-demand transportation technologies. It developed a vehicle reservation and allocation system for municipal communities and bus companies who run flexible on-demand transport services in urban and rural areas.
The platform allows to optimize the fleet management of car and bus fleets by matching customer transport requests with vehicle availability.
Launched in Austria and in Luxembourg, the software has helped Adapto – a public transport service for people with reduced mobility – to generate an efficiency gain of 21%, according to Jean-Luc Rippinger, UFT’s co-founder and CEO.
“The car business has already started to change in the last few years and will likely drastically change in the future.”
Logical Next Step
UFT was awarded FEDIL’s 2020 Innovation Prize in December for its application. During the event, the multi-sector federation for the industry in Luxembourg also granted its innovation award to B Medical Systems, EarthLabLuxembourg, and Ceratizit.
When asked why he decided to sell UFT’s asset, Rippinger said that the move was a logical next move in a startup’s life and was in the works for a long time: “Either you grow by finding a buyer who has enough financial means to support your development strategy or you sell your business and software to an industry player who will integrate your product into its portfolio,” he said.
“If we consider that 70% of startups disappear without having found a buyer, eventhough they invested a lot of resources in their project, then it is a success to be sold to a company that will be able to value our product.”
Cube4T8, which is mainly active in mobility solutions, will further develop UFT’s software and market it to its current and future customers, among others, in Portugal.
The source code purchase is part of the automotive group’s strategy to grow its business in mobility solutions. “The car business has already started to change in the last few years and will likely drastically change in the future,” explained Nathalie Kettenhofen, the managing director of Cube4T8.
“Industrial disruptions such as electromobility, digitalization, and automated driving are on their way, which means we will lose some parts of our revenue if we don’t diversify our activities”.
Mobility-as-a-service platform for B2B customers, along with other features, including on-demand transportation, car-pooling, and vehicle-sharing.
“Cube4T8’s digital solutions are powered by Losch Digital Lab, Losch’s software development house.”
Founded in 2017, with Losch among its shareholders, Utopian Future Technologies (UFT) managed Kussbus’ on-demand transport service, before ending its activities in March 2019. The startup employed 15 people before it terminated its business. 7 of its employees have been hired by Cube4T8.
Launched in 2019, Cube4T8 is dedicated to finding new business opportunities for the Losch Group, with the aim to generate new revenues in an industry where the core business of importing and selling cars, as well as offering repair and maintenance services will continue to decline in the future.
Apart from the mobility-on-demand and mobility-as-a-service solutions, the innovation department is now developing a digital solution portfolio for the automotive industry, including a dealer management system, a used car management system, and specific after-sales management systems for internal and external use.
Moreover, the entity is currently working on a disinfection and anti-bacterial product for cars and buildings, for the use of cars dealerships and others.
Cube4T8’s digital solutions are powered by Losch Digital Lab, Losch’s software development house. Launched in 2018 and based in Porto, the 19-people entity provides the Luxembourg automotive group with homemade software and business intelligence solutions that aim at digitalizing and automatizing its core business processes and activities. Losch Digital Lab also provides software development solutions for external customers. Nathalie Kettenhofen is the managing director of Losch Digital Lab as well.