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February 20, 2024
Featured in Forbes Portugal
Reading Time
6 minutes

Portuguese startup Avenidas aims to double revenue to €10 million this year

Featured in Forbes Portugal

The Portuguese startup Avenidas, which operates in the areas of mobility, travel, and tourism, among others, aims to double its revenue to €10 million this year, says CEO Manuel Reis in an interview with Lusa. "This year, I wanted to reach €10 million in revenue," says Reis, who is also a co-founder of Avenidas, emphasising that in 2023, the business volume exceeded "five million euros," up "25% from the previous year."

The CEO highlights that the company's "big leap" in terms of revenue was from "2021 to 2022," when it went from "€1.2 million to €4 million" after the startup was "forced" to reinvent itself during the pandemic. Now, "we are more robust, we are confident that this year can be very good, last year was a year of team consolidation, of office, we believe we can take a more significant leap" in 2024, he continues, pointing out that one of the main objectives is to "expand" operations in the Greater Porto area. "We are present, but we want to have a stronger footprint," and "we have partners with whom we work in Lisbon in different areas and who are also in Porto," which could be a boost to achieving the desired goal.

Avenidas has four business areas: Ride, Tour, Send, and Grow, and is present in Lisbon, Porto, and Aveiro. "We may need to open an office [in Porto] and increase our presence in the company's business areas," says Manuel Reis. The Avenidas CEO admits to opening a warehouse/office in Porto this year to serve the logistics area of ​​that region. So far, the technology company has invested "five million euros" - since the beginning of the startup in 2016 - "the majority of which was made in the last two years."

Last year, the company invested €1.5 million, and in 2024, they estimate it will be "a bit higher," anticipating that it could "reach €2 million," says Manuel Reis, adding that 90% of this amount will be invested in the fleet. Currently, the startup has 70 passenger vehicles, including 10 nine-seat vans, serving the Ride and Tour businesses, six motorcycle couriers (Send), 30 light commercial vans, and 90 sales promoters. "We hope to acquire 40 vehicles on the passenger and tourism side, 30 vehicles in commercial, and if all goes well, double the number of couriers," he says.

Manuel Reis started Avenidas, at the time with another partner, in 2016, just after finishing college with the idea of ​​having his own business. At this stage, Avenidas operated in the private passenger transport area - children, for example - and in 2018, it started focusing on tourism, with the creation of routes and experiences (such as private tours), which gave a growth boost to the startup. In 2019, they already had 20 vehicles, provided passenger transport for digital platforms like TVDE, tourism services, reaching a turnover of €800,000, but then came the pandemic, and Avenidas had to "reinvent" itself, he says.

"Sometimes adversities can be opportunities," admits Manuel Reis, recounting that the startup began using vehicles to make deliveries for restaurants, supermarket shopping, which allowed the business to continue until the pandemic passed. In the transition from the pandemic, in 2022, they decided to create business areas and invested in vans and commercial vans that serve "some big clients," especially in e-commerce deliveries like Amazon, Inditex, Nespresso (Avenidas Send).

In total, there are four areas: "Avenidas Ride (all passenger transport and where we serve digital platforms like Uber and Bolt); Avenidas Tour (where we do tourist services and tours), Avenidas Send (deliveries for restaurants and e-commerce), and in 2022 a new business area emerged, Avenidas Grow, which arises from the American startup Worldcoin, which contacted us to set up their operations here, we have sales promoters in 15 locations across the country activating the brand," he says. Of these four, Avenidas Grow with the American startup is the one that has had the most growth.

Currently, "70% of the global fleet in the three areas with wheels is electric. Last year we traveled 3.5 million kilometers, of which 2.8 million were electric," he says, recalling that since 2021 they have flown the "flag of ecological sustainability" and since then have stopped acquiring combustion vehicles. "Until today, we have invested almost all with our cash flow, we had a capital opening in early 2022 with a minority investor, at the time it helped us consolidate teams" and move forward to new business areas, he says. Avenidas Grow is a project that the CEO hopes to see grow: "We see there a kind of business unit that can create new business units or that can help companies that want to start operations in Portugal from scratch."

Currently, in the area of sustainable mobility, Avenidas has three projects to receive European funds "based on the investments we have made," he says. One is from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), which "has already been approved," and the rest are from Portugal 2030.

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