How vehicle subscriptions helped grow and empower a women-owned start-up
Liza Weideman

Liza Weideman established her travel company in 2014 and spent the first two years building the foundation as well as her client base. The company specialised in organising travel arrangements for corporate travellers around the world. Unbeknown to her and the world, the emergence of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent travel bans around the world, devastated businesses like hers as well as the global tourism sector. 

According to the United Nations World Tourism organisation, women, who make up 54% of the tourism workforce, were amongst the most at-risk categories who experienced massive impacts to their livelihoods due to the pandemic. And her business was no exception; forced to close shop and go back to the drawing board, Liza had to pivot her business offering. 

True to her entrepreneurial skills, agility and brave spirit, MoBlee was born. Liza was fortunate to have amassed enough funding through her initial business’ pre-pandemic success to allow her a safety net and, in turn, the opportunity to explore other avenues of business - what she likes to call the ‘vehicle rental experiment’. Liza started MoBlee, a rental car company with only four cars in her fleet and has grown to a fleet of 27 vehicles, none of which are bank financed. 

Growing a start-up from scratch, Liza had to wear multiple hats and do everything herself from vehicle acquisitions to accounting and operations for the business. She washed her cars and personally delivered them - no task was too small and all of them were equally necessary to get the business on its feet.

As her fleet grew, Liza required assistance to manage the larger scale operation, as well as meet the growing customer demands from different regions across the country. A partnership with FlexClub seemed like the next logical move. FlexClub is an online platform offering car rental and leasing merchants in its network an easy way to sell vehicle subscriptions to customers with a FlexClub account. The collaboration allowed MoBlee to reach a wider audience of customers looking for long-term vehicle access and easily access the technology infrastructure needed to seamlessly sell car subscriptions online. 

Through the partnership, MoBlee was able to join the network of rental and leasing merchants offering vehicle subscriptions to customers online, alongside industry stalwarts like Avis and Europcar, where customers can purchase all-inclusive car subscription packages. These subscriptions have a single monthly fee that covers exclusive long-term access to the vehicle and eliminates the need for additional insurance or maintenance premiums. Cars can be ordered online with delivery to the home in under a week, unlike the cumbersome process of buying a car through traditional vehicle financing.

“The FlexClub technology has enabled my business to more easily offer car subscriptions to customers online and help my new business find stability in an uncertain time. I am grateful I was able to successfully launch MoBlee and look forward to the exciting growth potential for my business in the car subscription space”, said Weideman.

Car subscriptions are relatively new to the South African market but are expected to grow significantly over the coming years. The opportunity for more SMEs like MoBlee in the mobility industry to launch and grow a car subscription business by taking advantage of technology solutions like FlexClub is likely a trend banks that finance SMEs will be watching closely. 

“Much like Shopify enabled millions of merchants globally to easily sell their products online, FlexClub aspires to support our network of merchants to easily sell vehicle subscriptions online”, said Tinashe Ruzane, CEO of FlexClub. “It’s been so inspiring seeing Liza grow her car subscription revenue using our platform and we hope our technology can play a role in her journey to 100 cars and beyond. Liza is a beacon of light for countless mobility SMEs and her incredible journey reminds us that fortune favours the bold”, Ruzane added. Today, more than 30 rental and leasing merchants of varying fleet sizes across South Africa and Mexico use FlexClub to power their vehicle subscription experience for customers online. 

Weideman is now laser-focused on scaling her fleet, while delivering the best possible experience to her customers and is continuously seeking out new opportunities to grow her business.