Touring, the leading mobility organization in Belgium, has since 2017 been a shareholder in Ghent-based software developer Optimile. Pursuant to the partnership which Touring entered into last year with AG and BNP Paribas Fortis, these two are now also taking stakes in Optimile. Ownership of the company will henceforth be divided equally between the three partners, with each holding a one-third share.
Optimile is an innovative Ghent-based software company, which provides a range of applications in the field of mobility, and has developed a cloud-based platform that takes a Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) approach in order to connect the end user with various means of transport. The platform enables users to smoothly combine different transport methods so as to find the most convenient way to reach their destination, plus also to make their reservations and pay for the various modes of transport in one go. Touring already uses this platform for its EasyWay application.
Optimile operates in seven countries and numbers some 600,000 customers worldwide.
The new capital injection is being accompanied by a change in the top management at Optimile. The current Chief Executive, Wim Iliano, is to step down. An De Pauw, who in the course of her career at companies such as Tesla and D’Ieteren has built up unrivalled knowhow in the new mobility, will take over as the new CEO on 5 March.
Bruno de Thibault, CEO, Touring, underlined:
“This capital injection will provide Optimile with extra resources, boosting its capacity to optimise its various mobility applications and bring them to market more rapidly and efficiently. We firmly believe in Optimile’s creativity, expertise and knowhow when it comes to developing effective, user-friendly mobility solutions that reflect the key mobility trends and are able to meet the new needs going forward.”
Edwin Klaps, Managing Director, Broker Channel & Non-Life Development, AG, explained: “Both the traffic situation in cities and people’s mobility behaviour and needs are changing rapidly. Multimodal transport solutions will be playing an ever-greater role in the future, where use is set to become more prominent than ownership. As an insurance provider we place great importance on easily-accessible, safe and sustainable mobility and we intend to play a part in this evolution, alongside our strong partners. Our shareholding in Optimile fits perfectly with this vision.
Max Jadot, CEO, BNP Paribas Fortis, stated:
“With Optimile’s new ownership structure, which brings together three leading players in the Belgian economy around mobility, we’re sending out a strong signal to the market that we believe in Optimile’s unique expertise and in the high-quality solutions the company provides. As the leading bank in Belgium, we’re determined to play a key role in finding solutions beyond banking to central social issues such as mobility, in the service of our customers.
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About Ag Insurance
With a market share end 2018 of 28,6% in Life insurance and 16,0% in Non-life, AG Insurance is the undisputed leader on the Belgian insurance market. To better tailor its offer to fulfil different customer needs, AG Insurance has a multi-channel distribution strategy that includes independent brokers and Fintro agents, bank branches (BNP Paribas Fortis, bpost bank) and group insurance for large corporate accounts. AG Insurance employs more than 4,000 specialised staff members. www.aginsurance.be
BNP Paribas Fortis (www.bnpparibasfortis.com) offers the Belgian market a comprehensive range of financial services for private individuals, the self-employed, professionals, companies and public organisations. In the insurance sector, BNP Paribas Fortis works closely, as a tied agent, with Belgian market leader AG Insurance. At international level, the Bank also provides high-net-worth individuals, large corporations and public and financial institutions with customised solutions, for which it is able to draw on the know-how and international network of the BNP Paribas Group.
Founded in 1895 by a group of cycle tourists and having grown into the largest mobility organization in Belgium, it defends each individual's absolute freedom to travel in the manner and with the means of his or her choice. Touring is part of FIA, the International Automobile Federation, the world's largest mobility organization.
As the first organization in Belgium to provide roadside assistance (1948) and travel assistance (1958) in Belgium and abroad, Touring is among the most experienced players on the Belgian market. Over the years, Touring has consolidated its market position and evolved into a large organization with more than 2,800,000 affiliates and 450,000 households with travel assistance cover who can rely on medical, technical and personal assistance on a 24/7 basis, as well as specialized advice on a broad range of mobility matters.
Touring's International Alarm Center receives an average of 145,000 calls per year from Belgians in trouble abroad and carries out an average of 35,000 medical or technical interventions. The National Alarm Center processes more than 680,000 calls per year from motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists who have broken down. In Belgium, Touring has approximately 200 vehicles out on the road for breakdown and roadside assistance services.