Scipopulis: smart tools dedicated to improve urban mobility!

Date: 28 Sep 2016
Cat: Brasil, Startups

In 2013, Brazil was struck by a wave of protest named the Revolta do Vinagre (The Vinegar’s revolution). Indeed, demonstrators were carrying bottles full of vinegar to avoid tear gas. This movement gathered together millions of Brazilians into the streets. Everything started by the increase of the bus fare: between 7 to 10% according to the city.

At its start, the movement was really focussing on the money aspect with el Movimento Passe livre (The movement for free public transport) as main leader. However, very quickly, other claims emerged on topics such as: social equality, safety, employment …and the mobility for all!


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First economic centre of Brazil, Sao Paulo was the birthplace of the revolt. Promptly, the revolt grew all over Brazil from Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte. So, the Paulisto government decided to develop a mobility plan and ease the set up of project related to this topic.

In Europe at that time, 4 young Brazilian engineers and business men specialized into urban mobility decided to found their company in Sao Paulo to bring solutions to their country and, therefore, becoming players instead of observers: Scipopulis was born !

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Scipopulis, it’s the story of 4 good friends who have decided to gather their strengths (and their skill acquired in Brazil and overseas) to create smart tools which improve urban mobility in Brazil. Settled in Mobilab (a laboratory for innovation created by the government of Sa Paulo), we have been lucky enough to meet this talented and innovative team!


What are their projects?

1. A digital tool which integrates fixed and real-time data about Sao Paulo inhabitants : Colectivo, an app to support Paolistos in their daily trips.

  • Why Colectivo? The app comes from a basic observation, declares Roberto. In Sao Paulo, there are many applications which allow anybody to plan a trip from a point A to a point B. It is very useful for tourists but globally almost everyone in Sao Paulo knows how to go from its home to its place of work…. what is missing? to know exactly at what time your bus will be at your station. Sao Paulo as many city of Latin America is being harmed by congestion and road delays.  

  • How it works?
    • Thanks to the opening of data by the city of Sao Paulo, Scipopulis can collect in real-time the data of 15 000 buses. They combine them to external data such as car-crash, traffic congestion…
    • For the user, they just need to geolocate themselves to know in real-time at what time their bus will reach the station.
  • And today? The app is celebrating its one year and a half and has more than 10 000 users.

2. A tool of visualisation of data to help the city of Sao Paulo to optimize its transport system: Panel de Bus.

  • Why Panel de Bus? It is an amazing story which begun during the pilot phase of Colectivo. At that time, Scipopulis was using a tool of debug to understand the difference between their prediction and the real-time (speed measurement of the bus…). A member of the city hall saw this tool and said:” But this is what we need!”: Panel de Bus was born.
  • How it works?
    • This visual tool display in real time indicators to the government (speed of buses, number of trips by hour…). This information allows the government to take effective decision at the right time to optimize the urban mobility of Sao Paulo.
    • And Scicopulis and the government go further! They are using Panel de Bus to monitor and check the impact of measures: for example they modify the speed limit of buses for 1 week and check the traffic flow. A very nice and low cost tool to test mobility measure and check their viability!
    • The business model set up is: licensing by year.

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3. A turnkey solution of public bike share services for middle-sized cities in Brazil: Bicicletas Inteligentes.

  • Why Bicicletas Inteligentes: Sao Paulo, Rio and Brazilia are all megacities which had enough fund to get their own bike sharing system. However, middle-sized Brazilian cities (600 cities have between 50 000 to 500 000 inhabitants) don’t have enough budgets to cover the investments for this kind of installation (racks, tactile totem…). We have decided to work on a cheaper solution which does not required too much logistic.
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  • How it works?
    • An electronic box is placed on each bicycle. User can locate the bicycle with its application and book it. The bicycle has a locker. Therefore, the user can leave it wherever he wants in the city.
    • There are plenty of advantages: cost of installation is 30% cheaper than a regular bike sharing solutions, no racks, lots of data available to optimize the service, more and more bike users (less pollution and traffic).  

All these solutions emerged from a need! We can bet that the talented team of Scipopulis will develop new tools in the coming years. A start-up to follow closely!