John Bensalhia meets DOVU co-founder Irfon Watkins to discuss the background, mission and ethos of this hugely successful business
Eureka! Isn’t it wonderful when a plan comes together?
The classic Eureka or A-ha! lightbulb moment of coming up with the solution to a problem has been seen throughout history from Archimedes to Einstein.
For Irfon Watkins, co-founder of DOVU, that moment came when he was considering the acquisition of data.
“When looking for a new project, I was playing with the concept of data. Why is it so difficult to find the data you need? There must be a more efficient way to do this at scale. At InMotion Ventures, Arwen Smit (CMO) was thinking about how the efficient application of mobility data could improve quality of life in cities. However, something was missing.”
In November 2016, the A-ha!-moment hit. “Among individuals and corporations alike, there was a lack of incentive to share data,” explains Irfon. “A problem which can be solved with blockchain technology. What if those who create value would be rewarded for that value. Or, what if those who share mobility data are rewarded for that data. Krasina Mileva (COO), a lawyer specialised in smart contracts and a former colleague of mine, completed the founding team.”
People contribute to the future of their cities through actions. Smart cities need smart citizens.
As one of the speakers at this year’s Smart IoT and Cloud Security Expo London 2018, Irfon Watkins is one of the founders of DOVU along with Arwen Smit and Krasina Mileva.
The reality of smart cities
“DOVU is a token you earn and spend by sharing and changing the way you travel,” says Irfon. “People contribute to the future of their cities through actions. Smart cities need smart citizens. Whether you’re working on connected cars, public transport, or autonomous vehicles, the DOV token facilitates a new transfer of value. Earn tokens by sharing car data, or driving green. Use your tokens for ecosystem services such as parking, EV charging, and much more.”
When Irfon was constructing the team for DOVU, looking for people to take on this brand new technology, he found that previous colleagues were already making strides in this space. “What resulted was an established team which has executed on complex technological ideas previously, most notably at my previous business, the programmatic video advertising company Coull. In addition, DOVU has a prominent team of advisors, who are committed to the long-term success of the business. Advisers such as Lars Klawitter, GM of Rolls Royce Bespoke and former member of the Board of Directors of Ethereum when it launched.”
In order to make its vision a reality, DOVU is working closely with partners such as BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. “We’re excited to announce that BMW Group UK is the first of many pilots starting in 2018!,” says Irfon. “These pilots will test ecosystem components, e.g. EV charging, or parking, in a controlled environment. When ready these individual components can be linked to form the early stages of the DOVU ecosystem.”
Irfon says that part of the appeal of token sales is the same emotional driver that is propelling crowdfunding: supporting a project you believe in.
Revolutionising data sharing
Part of the appeal of token sales is the same emotional driver that is propelling crowdfunding: supporting a project you believe in
“DOVU is set on revolutionising data sharing in the transportation and mobility industry. The DOV token is an ERC20 utility token, fulfilling a core role in our ecosystem. The DOV token acts a reward (incentivising data sharing), as a service token (in exchange for use of mobility services, e.g. a bus ride, or car insurance), or you can exchange it for other tokens or fiat currency. In short, you can earn, sell, or use the DOV token.”
“Applications for the DOVU protocol and DOV token are built around data sharing, including use cases such as electric vehicle sharing, insurance, mobility as a service, or even autonomous fleets who pay for themselves.”
Part of bringing blockchain benefits to a mainstream audience requires being published in mainstream media, and as a result, DOVU has been featured in media publications and websites such as TechCrunch, Forbes and Wired.
Considering the future, Irfon concludes: “As much as 2017 was about strategy and partnerships, 2018 is about putting our heads down to build, build, and build some more. 2018 will be all about the product and shipping.”
“Beyond 2018, DOVU will be the ubiquitous unit of value for the transportation sector. The token won’t only be used by humans, such as you and me, but smart contracts extend the token functionalities to all smart things in transportation, such as autonomous vehicles. We’re on the brink of a new movement.”
Irfon Watkins will be speaking at the forthcoming Smart IoT London, which takes place on 21st and 22nd March 2018 at London’s ExCeL Centre. To hear from Irfon and other experts from around the world, register today for your FREE ticket.