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Interview: Kustas Kõiv of Snabb

Kustas Kõiv is the co-founder and CEO at Snabb, an Estonian startup making vehicle ownership a more delightful experience. Snabb was founded in 2015 as a private parking app, but now users can browse, manage and pay parking, washing and charging from the Snabb App. The startup boasts over 50,000 users in 10 countries. We spoke to Kustas to learn more about Snabb first-hand.

Tell us about yourself. How did you end up in the startup world?

I’ve always dreamed of founding and building a technology company and when one of my friends shared his new business idea during our final year of college, we jumped to work without much thought. This was in 2012. It was only later when we learned that if you’re building technology and need to grow fast, your might call your venture a “startup”. So we did.

And what were you doing just previous to Snabb?

Travelling and ad-hoc jobs aside, I graduated from TalTech as a mechatronics engineer and worked for a military simulation tech company for the following two years.

The Estonian ecosystem seems to never run out of founders coming up with new ideas. Why do you think this is?

I think there are awesome founders everywhere but one cause for Estonian success is that the country is so small and one needs to think and act internationally from the very beginning.

Is there anything that could make Estonia even better for startups?

Sure – more talented people. The more the merrier. How to accomplish that is, of course, another topic.

Tell us about Snabb’s product. What does Snabb facilitate, in a nutshell?

Snabb brings all vehicle related services such as parking, washing, charging, insuring and more to the fingertips of the vehicle owner via one easy to use app. One account, one email, one credit-card and one yellow button to confirm.

What is Snabb’s traction so far?

Snabb has more than 50,000 happy unique monthly users, and integrated hundreds of car parks, car washes and EV-chargers into its offering.

Who is your target audience?

Vehicle owners. Either private persons or companies with fleets. In terms of geography – we’re targeting markets based on a few KPIs such as how inconvenient the current vehicle services are to use and how quickly we can change that.

How much funding have you raised? What was your experience fundraising and what advice would you give to new founders?

Snabb has raised €2.4 million as of today and my experience is that it’s great to raise money when it’s not difficult. Raise when you’re not desperate for it. If raising is too difficult, maybe it’s better to improve the product and get more early traction.

What are the biggest challenges you faced growing Snabb?

It must be the onboarding of the potential user-base. Early adopters were easy to onboard but from then on, changing and introducing new habits to most people is super hard.

What trends are you seeing in the automotive industry? Will everything become a subscription?

Self-driving EVs at large scale owned and managed by TNCs (transport network companies) but also individuals. Of course it will take time, but thanks to that, the vehicles will be utilised more – driving around say 50% of its lifetime instead of 10% which is the current reality.

Vehicles will earn revenues for their owners (company or private person) while taking care of themselves (washing, insuring, maintenance appointments, etc.).

What’s next for Kustas and Snabb?

We will keep growing, keep launching new connected service locations in our target markets and making vehicle ownership suck less.

What’s the best way for people to stay updated with the latest from you?

I’ll share our most significant updates via LinkedIn.

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