Letter from Founders

Dear Partners,

We are pleased to report that 2022 was another great year for Autonom, with the 16th consecutive year of growth since the company’s founding, with a compound average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51%.

Since its very beginnings, Autonom has faced various crises and shocks, negative or positive, which have brought about frequent changes in direction due to economic, legislative and social factors. The latest major events, i.e. the outbreak of the pandemic crisis and the geopolitical uncertainties of the time, have challenged us to find solutions to adapt, progress and take the Company to the next level.

The last three years have seen volatility, unpredictability, complexity and ambiguity more than ever, with many disruptive factors that have (re)shaped the local and international economic environment. In this context, we have pursued a cautious strategy, we have carefully analyzed any possible scenarios and we have made responsible decisions for the future, together with our partners. What is interesting is that the V.U.C.A. environment seems to be favorable to Autonom, as it continues to be a very agile organization, even at its current size.

In 2020, in a context where many global mobility operators encountered difficulties, Autonom recorded consolidated revenues of RON 327 million and a net profit of RON 7.2 million. In 2021, despite the circumstances still impacted by the pandemic, we kept growing and recorded revenues of RON 394.3 million (+16% compared to the reference year 2019) and a net profit of RON 22.5 million.

2022 was further marked by multiple shocks at the level of local and global economies: steep inflation, worsened by supply chain failures, soaring energy and raw material prices, rising bank loan interest rates and labor costs. We have also witnessed an increased sense of urgency in terms of decisions and actions in the climate crisis.

Nevertheless, for Autonom it was a year of sound performance and revenues of RON 647.2 million, an increase of 64% over 2021, and a net profit of 57.8 million lei, up by 157%. We continued to strengthen our market position, with 80% organic growth in 2022. Our non-current assets increased by 68% and were in excess of RON one billion for the first time, i.e. they reached RON 1.13 billion. Moreover, the rental fleet increased by 115% in terms of value, reaching RON 597.8 million, while the right-of-use assets increased by 29%, up to RON 480 million. We believe that, in the 16 years of business, we have built the largest mobility ecosystem in Romania, and all this is the direct result of our long-term business strategy and our organizational culture based on continuous learning, personal development and autonomy.

We are proud of our compound growth trajectory (“the most powerful force in the Universe”), considering that we made RON 800,000 in revenues in the first year of business, whereas now we bill the same amount in the span of three hours.

One of the projects of strategic importance in 2022 was the acquisition of Țiriac Operating Lease, a business with over RON 90 million in annual revenues and over RON 200 million in assets. As a result of this acquisition, our fleet grew by over 2,600 cars, marking the second major merger and acquisition in Autonom’s history. The takeover was an exemplary performance of our Company’s team, a renewed proof of our ability to effectively integrate other companies matching our business model.

Furthermore, we continued the tradition of launching financial firsts in the local market and announced a new financing partner, the European Investment Bank, with whom we will accelerate the transition to a green fleet. The EIB’s first financing for green transport in Romania will support our efforts to transform mobility solutions for companies and to expand the electric and hybrid car fleet. Another first was the order of 200 Tesla electric cars (Model 3 and Model Y), of which the first lots have already been added to our fleet.


Performance of business lines

All business lines, including secondary, experienced outstanding performance in 2022 and proved to be the driving force of the Company’s growth.

The Operating Lease Division continued its positive evolution, with a significant increase of +58% in 2022, compared to the end of 2021, and with revenues of RON 293.9 million. We ended 2022 with a fleet of 10,949 vehicles under operating lease, up 52% compared to the end of 2021.

Our main operating lease customers have historically been small and medium-sized companies, but we are witnessing increasing demand from large customers, with Bergenbier being a great example of a company with complex needs which turned to our services last year. We believe that these results are testimony to the power of Autonom’s full services, but also to our brand’s becoming increasingly well-known and trusted.

Autonom Rent-a-Car also had a year of exceptional results. The Division’s revenues increased by 52% in 2022 compared to 2021 and reached RON 104.7 million in 2022; its positive trend was the result of several factors. Firstly, the increase in tourism and passenger traffic on Romanian airports made a significant contribution to the increase in revenues, with Autonom being present in all the major airports across the country. According to data from the Romanian Airports Association (AAR), more than 21 million passengers transited Romanian airports, up 87% compared to 2021.

Secondly, the pressure in the automotive market, caused by delays of deliveries, allowed the market to take advantage of the high demand for temporary mobility solutions, resulting in very high use of assets and prices linked to supply. For Autonom, the occupancy of the rental fleet maintained at over 88% contributed significantly to the increase in revenues.

Another factor that contributed to the exceptional results of 2022 was the progress of the segment for replacement cars in case of accidents. Under Romanian laws, drivers suffering damages following road accidents are entitled to request a replacement car while their car is being fixed, with the costs being covered by the MTPL insurance of the driver at fault.

Autonom’s AutoRulate car sales Division also recorded very good financial results in 2022. The total revenues from the sale of used vehicles amounted to RON 120.8 million, up 54% compared to 2021, mainly due to the 32% increase in the number of cars sold and the increase in used car prices.

Looking beyond the numbers, Autonom continued to play an active role in the community in 2022 by supporting initiatives that promote entrepreneurship, culture, sports and more. Despite working with various exceptional scenarios in mind, we have never considered the risk of war breaking out in Ukraine as being relevant. Nevertheless, as always, we adapted quickly to the circumstances and our Help platform - which we developed and used during the pandemic to provide help for transport - was up and running in less than 24 hours. More than 100 requests came through the platform, for more than transport, from across the country. We went from providing mobility solutions to acting as a link, thus showing our commitment to doing whatever it takes to support the community when we are needed. We even rented cars to journalists for them to get to the war zone to keep the public updated on the front line of the war and expand charity-related activities.

Another important event in 2022 was the 10-year anniversary of Autonom Foundation - 10 years of involvement in the community and good deeds, 10 years in which we carried out more than 840 projects with an impact on education. Last year alone, 202 educational projects were carried out, in which more than 300 “Autonom” volunteers were involved and which benefited more than 4,500 children in over 88 localities. Moreover, our personal development pilot program carried out in schools, Devino AutonOM, reached out to over 450 children.

Overall, 2022 was a year of intensive work that provided all parties involved with excellent results, both in terms of financial and non-financial performance. We would like to thank our teams for their dedication and contribution to Autonom’s success, from establishment onwards. Our core values - innovation, learning and sustainability, will guide us in 2023, too, in order to take Autonom to the next level.

The main challenge we expect in 2023, in these times of economic uncertainty we are going through, concerns access to financing and its cost, which also comes with a slowdown in the global economy. Significant interest rate increases may influence our decisions regarding Autonom’s financing structure. The decision we have made twice so far, to access significant funding on the capital market, helps us greatly now and in the coming period, as it means predictable financing costs and lower risks relating to the volatility of financing costs not transferable to revenues.

Looking forward and assessing our short, medium and long-term objectives, we remain committed to our growth strategy. We are expanding our existing business lines and looking to roll out new services and complementary business divisions as part of Autonom’s portfolio to further build on this growth.

Our current vision aims at developing a mobility and business growth solution hub to meet the various needs of our customers, legal and natural persons alike, at the highest quality standards.

Thank you for your trust and for sticking with us on this journey!

Marius Ștefan

Dan Ștefan