Emilio Mellado, the 11-year-old computer prodigy, is now the mobility guru

The company he founded, World Wide Mobility, has over $1 million in annual software sales

World Wide Mobility
Emilio Mellado, founder of World Wide Mobility in his Madrid offices.Santi Burgos

Emilio Mellado is only 38 and has already accomplished a lot in life. The computer prodigy once designed web pages and assembled computers with his brother when he was only 11. “We would buy all the parts and assemble them ourselves,” said the entrepreneur, who later became a commercial pilot and Boeing flight instructor. “I wanted to see and explore the world.” But after logging 3,000 flight hours, he left the skies in 2014 to join the digital world. “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” he said. After creating several apps, including a transportation service price comparison tool, Mellado founded and leads a technology solutions company with prestigious clients like Mutua Madrileña, Arval, Avis and Hispano Suiza.

World Wide Mobility (WWM) is the name of the firm that Mellado founded in 2016 with Jorge Jurado and Javier Galve, former classmates in ISDI’s master’s program for internet business in Barcelona. WWM now offers an integrated service platform: the Chipi application that compares in real time availability, prices and wait times for over 100 mobility services (such as Cabify, Uber, FreeNow, ShareNow, Free2Move, eCooltra, Muving and BiciMad); a vehicle-sharing application where the user can register in less than a minute; and smart-vehicle technology to unlock the car, and control power, speed and temperature.

Like many businesses, WWM was hit hard by the pandemic but has now recovered. In 2022, sales were nearly $1.08 million (€1 million), which the company expects to exceed this year. “We want to continue growing in the medium term and transforming mobility around the world, not just in Europe,” said Mellado. “Latin America, the United States and Japan are potential markets for us.” Much like flying, that business journey will require a good map. “Prioritization and planning are fundamental in business and flying, because mistakes could have serious consequences. You need a flight plan before taking off in an airplane, and our company follows a rigorous business plan that guides major decisions.”

Mellado has always had a bug for business. “I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I remember when I was four or five years old, in Tenerife [Canary Islands], I used to sell mineral stones to tourists,” he said. “I also used to collect stray golf balls and sell them to golfers at the course entrance. Those are the little things I did as a kid that bring back a lot of memories.” But his first big entrepreneurial venture happened in 2015 when he created an on-demand courier service for several cities in the Canary Islands. It didn’t take off enough to expand to mainland Spain, but it reconnected Mellado to his entrepreneurial roots.

“I realized I needed mentors — people with entrepreneurial experience — who could coach me in business,” he told EL PAÍS in WWM’s Madrid headquarters. He met his partners at graduate school and developed the Chipi app with them. The car-sharing price comparison tool “is the origin of all the services we offer now.” Chipi not only covered car-sharing but also bicycles, motorcycles, scooters and taxis. WWM aggregates data from 150 mobility providers and has 100,000 active users in over a dozen European cities.

When the Chipi app won an award in 2018 from the Madrid City Council for the best mobility app, “companies wanted our technology for internal use,” said Mellado, so WWM began offering the software as a white label product. Around the same time, Hispano Suiza, the luxury and racing automaker, contracted WWM to develop software and hardware for its Hyper-Lux Carmen model, which was rolled out at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2019.

Hispano-Suiza wanted WWM to develop technology that controlled all aspects of the car – doors, lights, power and speed, and simple things like the interior temperature. “These last few years have been really crazy,” said Mellado. “We’ve been gradually adding more and more services to our product line. Our company is obsessed with mobility.” But he hasn’t decided on the next big step. Like any good pilot, Mellado wants to survey the terrain to make sure he can land on solid ground.

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