As we fall on hard economic times, relying on a 9-5 job to sustain you is becoming unrealistic. Most people are seeking that extra dollar through side hustles, a tradition that began years ago. Major businesses, such as Udemy and JotForm, were established because their founders spent their free time developing new ideas into successful companies. Mina Nada joined the club of such innovative entrepreneurs in 2017 when he and his business partner, Michael Johnson, co-founded Bolt, now known as Zoomo. As he continues to scale the business, here are ten facts to enlighten you about the Zoomo CEO.
1. Why He Changed the Company Name from “Bolt.”
Nada talked to the Australian Financial Review and revealed that rebranding the company from Bolt to Zoomo was important to avoid clashes with other overseas brands. He had already experienced the impact firsthand when a venture capitalist told him the bad reputation and culture at Bolt made the prospective investor avoid meeting with Nada. The CEO further revealed that rebranding signified the company was in the initial stages of international growth.
2. He Hopes to Disrupt Rivian
According to Yahoo!, Nada’s vision is to disrupt Rivian. Since Rivian is an electric vehicle startup creating an electric pickup truck and electric SUV, Nada does not think it is logical for two-ton vehicles to deliver two kilograms of burgers. As a result, he thought that his e-bikes would be a much more viable solution in the delivery business in the US market.
3. He is Ambitious
Nada faced a lot of negativity from naysayers regarding his goal of going global. Still, he wanted to prove them wrong, even if it meant sleepless nights. Therefore in 2019, the CEO and his team spent three quarters of the year traveling across the US, Europe, and Asia. He wanted to lay a foundation so that the business could go international while being headquartered in Sydney. In 2020, Nada and his team had to cancel any traveling plans for six months to increase the pace of global expansion. Their efforts have not gone to waste because, by August 2020, Zoomo’s biggest opportunities were overseas, particularly in the US and the UK.
4. How He Got the Idea to Found Zoomo
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that was the case with Nada. While working at Deliveroo, Nada was under constant pressure to meet key performance indicators based on speed and delivery. He realized that e-bikes were the fastest; hence, he and Johnson started a side hustle. They would lease e-bikes to food delivery workers, enabling the two colleagues to meet their performance goals.
5. Banks Refused to Lend Him Some Money
Nada and Johnson had been in the food delivery industry and already knew that light electric vehicles were the future of last-mile logistics. They also noticed that the industry did not have the right vehicle hence wanted to do something about it. Although Nada had a vision, banks could not fund it. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, banks thought the two business partners were too high risk to extend them a loan. For this reason, Nada and Johnson had to scrap their savings and borrow from friends. The savings and loans were hardly sufficient to get them going; hence, they sought seed funding, amounting to $4 million from Maniv Mobility.
6. The Selling Point of His Business
For Nada, e-bikes cannot compare with other means of transport. Scooters, for instance, cannot park anywhere, but e-bikes can even park on footpaths. Besides, Nada claims that electric bicycles are not affected by loading and stopping zones. Additionally, one can use bike lanes, enhancing faster delivery. The CEO and his business partner added that riding an e-bike does not require a driving license. Riders also do not have to incur any registration costs, insurance fees, fuel, or tolls. The best thing is that the e-bikes can move at a maximum speed of 28km-hr, and rent charges per week are affordable at $79.
7. He Would Have Preferred Not Rebranding His Business
According to SmartCompany, when Nada and Johnson started the company, they did not mean for it to go international. It was meant to be a side hustle, but it quickly gained traction. To them, “Bolt” was the ideal name since the business would operate in Australia, where no other company operates under the name. Unfortunately, the more they grew, the more they realized other companies with a similar brand name. Despite the business partners preferring not to change the name due to the business being young, and the hectic process involved, the rebranding was inevitable.
8. His Education
Nada began his education at the Trinity Grammar School, Sydney. The day school is for boys only and offers early learning, primary and secondary education. The CEO was passionate about law hence later attended the University of Sydney for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees. He was a bright student who graduated with first-class honors. He also enrolled at the East China University of Political Science and law. The institution specifically caters to students interested in legal and political studies.
9. He Has Always Been Motivated To Go the Extra Mile
According to his LinkedIn profile, you can tell that Nada was a motivated student. Besides focusing on his studies, he also exhibited strong leadership and communication skills by becoming a house captain and representative debater. He must have also proved himself to be a worthy candidate to be awarded a scholarship for International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma at the Trinity Grammar School. The institution offers different scholarships, but one must sit for a scholarship exam and have outstanding academic performance.
10. He Can Be Secretive
Nada has never had a problem disclosing what he plans to do with the funds raised. When Zoomo got $16 million, he said primarily, the money would be plowed back into the business, and a small portion used to expand the global footprint. However, even then, he did not disclose the company’s valuation; all he could say was that they had reached double-digit revenue growth consistent month-on-month.
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Written by Allen Lee
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