Meet the Member: Otimo
Meet the Exchange business driving safer and better driving lessons
From starting a business at home to achieving a spot at Department Bonded Warehouse, Otimo is ready to take over the way people learn how to drive. As one of the businesses joining the latest Exchange start-up support scheme cohort, the team is on a mission to modernise the industry and the training within it, as well as tackle wider issues around road safety across the UK.
At present, Otimo acts as a broker within the driver trainer market by connecting learners to instructors in a bespoke manner. However, there are much larger plans on the horizon.
After successfully securing a spot on the Exchange scheme and making a base in Manchester, the team behind the small tech business aspire to build a thriving app that allows users to turn the everyday necessity of driving into a gamified user experience. They are starting with the drivers of tomorrow – learners.
The Otimo app uses real-time motion sensors that already exist within the phone to record, track and feedback on the users’ driving. Otimo will allow learners to bring their driving to life through updated reports about their lessons along with nudges that show how to improve their driving skills. Other features include driving test routes, mock tests, as well as other driving challenges and leader boards to boost enjoyment, skill and confidence. Think Strava but for learning to drive.
For the other side of the user base, instructors will have a tool to complement their coaching and bring it to life, as well as manage their learners. By using the automated lesson reports, instructors can give more engaging feedback to learners at the end of their lessons to appeal to the tech-orientated generation of learners.
The Exchange start-up scheme is an accelerator for ambitious early-stage tech businesses during which they receive quality mentoring from Exchange’s professional partners. They also receive office space at Department Bonded Warehouse, opportunities to pitch to a resident investment vehicle for funding, as well as the chance to join the community of fellow entrepreneurs on the scheme.
Sam Robinson, founder of Otimo, said: “It’s great to finally be meeting with other founders and having a base to work out of. Up until last month, we had been working at home which doesn’t always feel as productive.
“It has been so exciting to release our first version of the app to our user panel and the response from the participants has been very positive. The next step now is iterating on our first release and opening the app to a wider user base.”
Over the last six months, the team has grown from 3 to 5 and Otimo has experienced a 30% month-on-month growth. The team’s short-term goals centre around developing and releasing the app and validating the new business model with long-term aims to become a leading technology in the driver training market and eventually the wider motoring industry.