FINN: Drive your new car all-inclusive
FINN: Drive your new car all-inclusive

Interview: Kyte’s Francesco Wiedemann

By: Milena Parno Christian Jansen
Last update 2023-04-26 Reading time 3:54 min
Kyte's Francesco Wiedemann

Francesco Wiedemann, Co-founder of Kyte (Image: Kyte)

In a recent interview with Milena Parno and Christian Jansen, Francesco Wiedemann, Co-founder of Kyte, discusses mobility, innovation, and the promising future of car subscriptions.

How long has your company been in business, and how did it come to be?

In 2019, my friends Nikolaus Volk, Ludwig Schoenack, and I re-imagined how people would access cars without limitations. We noticed that many people were turning to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft but still needed access to cars for longer trips or specific occasions.

So, we came up with the idea to build Kyte, a company that unlocks the freedom to go places. We deliver cars on-demand right to your doorstep for any trip longer than a rideshare.

We do this because we saw a gap in the market and wanted to make it easier and more convenient for people to have access to a car when they need it – for as long as they need it, be it a day, a week, a month, or longer.

Who are your target customers/audience?

Our target customers typically live in urban areas. They do not want to own a car as it comes with all the hassle of registration, maintenance, etc., but they still need access to one for occasional trips outside the city or their commute.

We have found that this demographic is looking for a more convenient and flexible way to rent a car without dealing with the hassle of traditional car rental companies or getting a long-term lease. By offering on-demand delivery and pick-up of cars, we can provide our customers with a hassle-free and seamless experience.

Our target audience values convenience, affordability, and reliability, and we strive to meet those expectations with our service. We also prioritize the safety and cleanliness of our cars as they go through regularly scheduled preventative maintenance. Overall, we aim to make access to cars a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

How does your car subscription service differ from other providers’ offerings?

Our car subscription service is unique because of its flexibility. Customers can subscribe for as little as one month and continue on a month-to-month basis. We offer customized packages based on commitment periods, mileage, and insurance setups. Booking is easy and takes only minutes, and we deliver cars directly to customers in 15 cities across the U.S. This makes our service convenient and hassle-free for anyone looking for a flexible way to get a car.

What makes and models of cars are available for the car subscription?

We’re currently offering various car classes with different options. For economy cars, sedans, and SUVs, our homepage shows different options that customers will most likely get when they subscribe to this car class, as these are our most common make/models of that class. For our EV car classes, we’re offering a make/model guarantee- the Premium EV car class gets you a Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD, and the Standard EV class – our newest addition, will get you a brand new Chevrolet Bolt EUV.

In which countries are you currently operating, and are you planning to expand in the future?

We currently operate in the United States, and we plan to expand not only to other markets within the United States but also to other countries! Stay tuned!

Has the market been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor crisis, and the war in Ukraine?

All external forces have the potential to affect market conditions. However, we’ve never allowed anything to break our stride. We were a very young company when COVID-19 took over the globe, yet throughout the pandemic, we saw ourselves grow and come out even stronger.

How do you anticipate the car subscription market evolving over the next five years?

Relative to car ownership and leasing, we expect it to grow faster due to a car subscription’s strong inherent value propositions – convenience, flexibility, and affordability – that make it an attractive alternative to ownership and leasing. Car subscriptions are also a new product category, so as the product generally becomes more well-known, that will lead to more adoption and growth of the category.

What are the terms and conditions of your car subscription contracts?

Customers can select an initial commitment period of 1-3, 6, or 12 months. Our subscription service includes added benefits such as preventative maintenance and registration handling, roadside assistance, and in-app chat support.

Can customers renew their contracts without changing their cars?

Yes, but it depends on the duration of the subscription. Sometimes, we have to take the car back to perform required maintenance, after which, we would be able to give the car right back. In the meantime, we provide a replacement car at no additional cost.

Can customers switch between different cars within their car subscription?

As of now, this is not a service we’re offering, but we’re exploring it as an added feature towards the end of this year.

Do you offer new or used cars for your car subscription service?

Our car subscription fleet comprises of new cars when initially delivered to customers; however, once a customer’s subscription is over, we may offer that vehicle to another customer.

What is the process for booking, picking up, and returning the car?

Booking is made through our website, where you choose your car, delivery address, and delivery date/time. The car is then delivered to that address at that time, where the handover takes ~5 minutes. On return, our team will come to you and pick up your car. It’s really that easy.

Are the cars serviced regularly, and how do you ensure their quality and safety?

We perform preventive maintenance on our vehicles at regular intervals so they’re always in top driving condition. During your subscription, Kyte will contact you if your car requires maintenance. As part of our service, we offer routine and preventative maintenance services such as oil changes and tire rotations. We’re working with local partners and helping our customers to schedule appointments for their routine maintenance.

Do you provide a free replacement vehicle when the car is in the workshop or undergoing general inspection?

Currently, we do not provide replacement vehicles for routine maintenance and inspections that require less than a day. However, in cases where the car requires a longer inspection or is damaged, we offer swaps. This allows customers to exchange their vehicle with another one from our fleet, usually with lower mileage.

April 25th 2023


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