Dear non-Italian visitor, thank you for your interest in One Wedge. As any start-up worthy of this name, we need to focus on the things that will enable us to reach our objectives, postponing everything else, regardless of how interesting it is.
Despite a relatively generous first round of funding involving friends & family, One Wedge is a very capital-intensive business, whose burn rate can become very significant once clients start to arrive. The course we have plotted gets us to break-even (and to round 2) provided we:
- stick to a small geographical zone trying to achieve the network density that’s required to unlock consumer acceptance
- work closely with users of big fleets and energy-intensive businesses in that area
- team up with long-term rental providers, carmakers and utilities to deliver the solution
So you won’t see an english language version of this site for a few months. But the fact remains that both of us have spent a significant portion of our working lives abroad and we owe it to our business connections and friends in all corners of the globe to at least explain what we are trying to achieve.
Why Sustainable Mobility?
Well, first of all, you may remember Gianni is a Nuclear Engineer by background, so energy is in his DNA – never had the opportunity to practice, true, but he kept up-to-date in his spare time even while he was working on computers or communications.
Early last year he got pulled into helping as a consultant another start-up: they had a TECHNOLOGY idea, but no BUSINESS idea and Gianni started to look at the fundamentals of that sector. Come May-June he had researched and developed a Business Plan and found a potential investor, when the start-up unraveled for lack of chemistry between its founders.
But the idea was good, so Gianni started again from scratch, this time seeking a Club Deal of people making smaller investments.
The business idea
…is really simple: e-Mobility won’t take off (despite tax incentives) until Consumers feel safe they can fill-up quickly when they run out of electricity: what is needed is a network of fast charger (EMI) thick enough to reassure them. Unfortunately fast chargers are extremely expensive (€45k each) and until there are enough EVs on the road, they sit idle and generate no income. Essentially you lose (a ton of) money for 5-6 years.
A classic chicken-and-egg conundrum which explains why – despite the maturity of the technology – nobody is doing it except (slowly) big utilities using public money.
Instead we figured that there is a sub-segment of cars who have a much higher mileage along predictable routes and who make decisions on a rational basis (rather than emotional) and that is company cars.
The Fleet focus
So we started talking to companies about the idea of selling them a “flat recharging service” delivered through the installation of enough chargers in the appropriate positions, including their own HQ.
The saving is so large that we can pay back the chargers’ CapEx amortization, make a healthy gross margin and still offer clients a nominal saving on their fleet running cost, which grows as the EMI becomes thick enough. Since “locally thick” is equivalent to “nationwide thick”, initially we will focus on Milano (most polluted area in Europe) and expand slowly from that.
Of course, the image-related benefit connected to e-mobility for the company who can deploy it, as well as the carbon footprint reduction contribution (electrifying 50 cars saves 1,200 tons of CO2 in five years) are the icing on the cake.
The delivery of the solution requires a delicate balance between very powerful players like utility companies, long-term rental fleet providers, car makers and, of course, the users of large fleets which themselves tend to be very large companies.
Paradoxically, our minuscule size is an advantage, because we do not represent a threat to any of these, but it means we need to remain extremely focused to avoid over-extending ourselves.
Thanks for your visit and look forward to hear from you.