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The Subscription Challenge

The Subscription Challenge

In the startup world, there are buzzwords you hear very often, words like “disruption” and the very over-used “innovative”. And we’re the first to admit that we consider our battery subscription model both innovative and disruptive, but the reason those words are heard in startup so often is that they have both good and bad connotations. As consumers, we’re always hoping for new solutions that make our lives easier and ideally are more affordable than traditional options, so the good can certainly be obvious to us when considering them.

But what are the bad things about these words? Why should we be more cautious about a product or service that earns these badges? As an example, ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber are good examples of disruptive startups that have had to deal with the challenges associated with those labels. In many cities they’re up against laws related to taxi medallions, the licences granted to cab drivers or companies that allow them to perform that service, this potentially makes these businesses illegal. Another example can be found in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, a very controversial thing, and certainly a very new market from a business perspective, and that brings it’s own challenges for some very basic business needs like banking. Those businesses often can’t do something as simple as accept debit cards for payments because banks don’t want to participate in that risk.

For us and our subscription model, being innovative and disruptive means that building the capital backing and payment models for our customers hasn’t come easily. We have had capital partners get very excited about it only to have their in-house lawyers get cold feet and have them back out. From a fiscal risk standpoint this market is surprisingly low risk, EV buyers as a whole are good credit risks, our product is a physical one with an attached value, and our capital need is quite low for an automotive related payment. When you compare it to a whole-vehicle lease, it’s a much lower capital outlay, there’s very little depreciation risk, and in comparison to our competitors, our product and service is quite attractive. Plus it’s structured to easily cover the risk profile when spread across our consumer community.

But even with all those benefits, what we’re doing is new. And when bankers and layers get involved, “new” is scary. We’ve now pitched this business model to dozens of potential market capital partners, investors, bankers, lease-holders, finances, etc, and overwhelmingly the response we always get is positive. They all see the need is very real, and that the market is ripe and ready for our service.

So what does all of this mean to you, our fans, followers, and customers? It means we’ve gotten very good at this pursuit, it means we can explain the business model with our hands tied behind our backs, and it means we’re now talking to the right people to make it happen. We’re getting very close to launching our subscription, and I know most of you have one simple question: “When?” We have two meetings this week that should be able to answer that question for us, and you can be sure, we want to answer that question as much or more than you want it answered! We should be able to share an answer in the next couple of days, so stay tuned, your answer is right around the corner!

-The Fēnix Team

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