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Yovav Meydad, Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at Moovit

Yovav Meydad: "We really want to help people leave their cars at home"

GoTo Global interviews smart mobility leaders so that we can learn from each other, share our news and industry concerns. Moovit is the #1 urban mobility app and our integration partner.
By Katya Rozenoer
Yovav Meydad
Chief Growth and Marketing officer at Moovit
Yovav Meydad is Moovit's Chief Growth and Marketing Officer, responsible for growth, demand generation, design and branding, marketing, and corporate communications. He has been with Moovit since 2013, where he came on board as VP of Products and Growth. Yovav built and managed the product team, led the company's product roadmap, and was a core contributor to the company's growth from 1M users to over 350M. Yovav has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, general manager and product executive in venture capital-backed and public Internet companies in the U.S. and Israel. Yovav holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems Engineering from the Ben Gurion University, Israel.

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How do you normally commute?
I live very close to Moovit's office, in a suburban area with very infrequent bus service, so I have to drive my car to work. But when I travel abroad, I only take public transit whether it's in London, Brussels, Milan or elsewhere. During those trips, I always make sure to use Moovit and experience our product as locals do. Dogfooding is a principal I highly believe in and live by.

What has changed in the way you commute in the past year?
I'm seeing more traffic due to the new residential and office buildings in different parts of Israel. This is a common problem everywhere in the world. Often the infrastructure of a city doesn't keep up with the population growth and you get transit congestion and gridlock. That's why we need Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions, which connect commuters with all of a city's mobility options, specifically putting an emphasis on the first/last mile. First mile means how can people make their first leg of their journey, from their home to the main transit line. Making this leg convenient would encourage people to leave their car at home.

What excites you about the transportation industry today?
Knowing that technology is leading the necessary disruption of the transportation industry. Also knowing that Moovit is delivering real solutions to simplify urban mobility all around the world, and improving the commuting experience for hundreds of millions of people.

What makes you say to a friend "you cannot imagine what is going in my industry right now!"
There's a lot of excitement about autonomous vehicles but they won't solve the problem of congestion in cities. I'm excited about the solutions Moovit is providing to reduce traffic congestion and make commuting easier for people. Our mission is to simplify urban mobility all around the world. That's exciting.
Too many cities manage urban mobility as they did 50 years ago by trying to improve the infrastructure
What are the things that are broken in the industry now? Something you look at and say "it should not be like that, here is how it should be."
Too many cities manage urban mobility as they did 50 years ago by trying to improve the infrastructure – add another lane in the road, build another parking lot, remove seats on metros to allow more standing capacity. Progressive cities are taking a new approach, deploying Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms that take a holistic view of the problem, and using data of historical patterns and predictive analytics to come up with new alternatives. Instead of spending tax dollars on widening roads, smart cities can identify alternative routes and re-direct traffic. Cities can enable and promote such alternative forms of mobility as ride-sharing and scooter rental. This data-driven approach allows us to better utilize what we already have with solutions that are cost effective and fast to deploy. We can avoid spending billions of dollars of infrastructure changes and waiting several years for improvement.
What is the hardest challenge your company is tackling now?
Moovit is known all around the world as the #1 urban mobility app with more than 350 million users and service in 2,700 cities in 88 countries. Our challenge is being equally regarded as an early pioneer of Mobility as a Service with solutions that help not only consumers but also cities, municipalities and transit agencies improve their systems. When we meet people who work in those organizations they say, "Yes, Moovit is a terrific app, my family and I use it often. I didn't know you licensed products to cities too!" While establishing our position as a MaaS pioneer, we are going to continue to push our growth with the goal of reaching 1 billion users by 2021. To achieve both goals we are growing our teams in all departments.
Five years ago, what you could and what you could not imagine in 2019 transportation landscape?
Five years ago, autonomous vehicles were predicted to be ubiquitous by now. At the same time, population centers grew but city infrastructures stayed about the same. Congestion increased everywhere. Moovit has always been a champion of the transit rider. Over time we've added a host of other types of urban mobility options like electric scooters, bike-sharing, ride-sharing and car-sharing (including those that GoTo Mobility powers) to help people overcome the first/last mile obstacle. We really want to help people leave their cars at home.

Now, imagine 2024: you are in a middle of a city, looking around. What do you see?
The change in five years will be incremental, not holistic. Tectonic change takes a long time. But there will be improvements in more people riding transit more efficiently. Cities will be doing more to restrict single driver cars (whether they're autonomous or driven manually) in favor of mass transit. New modes of transit like dockless scooters and bikes will be integrated in the fabric of urban mobility and will be managed by one platform. It all will be interconnected through smart phones apps and people in some cities will be able to consume all of the mobility services, get information, guidance and of course pay for them, digitally, using a single application - that's mobility as a service.

Moovit app in Israel
Movit has gone beyond just public transportation, showing users shared scooters, bikes and cars, including those powered by GoTo Mobility
What industry book would you recommend to those interested in transportation and mobility?

The most compelling and current information about urban mobility today is podcasts and blogs. Some of my favorites include:

Blogs / Online Publications:- MassTransit Mag
- Intelligent Transport

Podcasts:
- Smart Cities Week
- Autonocast - mobility industry discussions about the latest technology in our industry
- Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman. It not specific to the mobility industry, but a must for anyone passionate about products and growing them)
- How I built this with Guy Raz

YouTube channels:- L2 / Scott Galloway - Fresh thoughts about business in (big) tech

I also read industry analyst reports by such firms as Gartner, IDC, Frost & Sullivan, Berg Insight, BIS Research and others.
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