Pro­Vi­sion hopes car safety tech will drive 400% growth

Irish Examiner - - Finance - Tr­ish Dromey

This year, Dublin startup Pro­Vi­sion aims to be first to mar­ket with a new type of driver safety prod­uct for con­sumers that helps re­duce ac­ci­dents as well as tak­ing video footage of them when they do hap­pen.

“Called Cam­er­aMat­ics, our tech­nol­ogy op­er­ates by pro­vid­ing driv­ers with in­for­ma­tion, warn­ing them of haz­ards and dan­gers, pro­vid­ing them with ve­hi­cle di­ag­nos­tics and faults and also giv­ing them feed­back about their driv­ing be­hav­iour and about fuel ef­fi­ciency,”’ said Pro­vi­sion co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive Mervyn O’Cal­laghan.

The tech­nol­ogy is al­ready be­ing used in a com­mer­cial prod­uct for fleet man­age­ment by Pro­Vi­sion. And Mr O’Cal­laghan said this will be the first con­sumer prod­uct of its type on the mar­ket.

“The so­lu­tion com­bines telem­at­ics data from a ve­hi­cle with live video footage and au­tonomous driv­ing tech­nol­ogy and can be used to re­duce the num­ber of road ac­ci­dents and also to re­duce in­sur­ance fraud,” he said.

Set up in 2016, Pro­Vi­sion de­vel­oped Cam­er­aMat­ics tech­nol­ogy as part of a fleet-track­ing for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

Now sell­ing this com­mer­cial prod­uct in the UK and Ire­land, the com­pany plans to launch the con­sumer ver­sion in the sec­ond half of this year.

“We are also plan­ning a US launch of our fleet so­lu­tion and are fore­cast­ing growth of 400% this year,’’ says Mr O’Cal­laghan.

Pre­vi­ously, he and co­founder Si­mon Mur­ray were run­ning a com­pany called EDrive which in­stalled telem­at­ics sys­tems. They iden­ti­fied a gap in the mar­ket for fleet man­age­ment sys­tem which used live video footage.

Notic­ing that ve­hi­cle track­ing and telem­at­ics had been used to im­prove fleet ef­fi­ciency, they saw that lit­tle had been done to fa­cil­i­tate risks. They de­cided to com­bine live video footage with telem­at­ics and au­tonomous driv­ing tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a sys­tem which would al­low com­pa­nies to man­age and mon­i­tor their fleet.

Us­ing their own fund­ing, they up Pro­Vi­sion with a team of four peo­ple.

By Fe­bru­ary 2017, they had de­vel­oped the first ver­sion of their tech­nol­ogy and sold it to their first cus­tomers.

“By the end of that year we had sold to al­most ev­ery ma­jor haulier in Ire­land and had a team of 13 peo­ple,’’ said Mr O’Cal­laghan. He added that Pro­Vi­sion be­gan sign­ing its first UK cus­tomers the fol­low­ing year.

In late 2017, Pro­Vi­sion se­cured €1m of in­vest­ment from ven­ture cap­i­tal group Suir Val­ley Ven­tures and from gov­ern­ment agency En­ter­prise Ire­land, which it has used for more re­search and de­vel­op­ment and to build a new suite of mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions for fleet man­age­ment.

By the end of the year, it had in­creased sales by 300% and had be­gun its first trial with a US cus­tomer.

“When we started out in 2016 we were tar­get­ing large haulage com­pa­nies but are now sell­ing to a range of dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies which have fleets of cars and vans as well as heavy goods ve­hi­cles,” Mr O’Cal­laghan said, adding that the prod­uct range is “mod­u­lar” and in­cludes spe­cific prod­ucts for vans and cars.

Op­er­at­ing from a fa­cil­ity at Park­west Busi­ness Park, the com­pany now em­ploys 31 peo­ple, in­clud­ing seven staff in the UK, which now ac­counts for 60% of its sales.

Mr O’Cal­laghan says that Pro­Vi­sion has now em­barked on a sig­nif­i­cant fundrais­ing round and plans to use this in­vest­ment for the de­vel­op­ment of the new con­sumer prod­uct and also for the launch in the US.

In or­der to achieve the am­bi­tious tar­get of 400% growth, he says the com­pany will need to re­cruit an ad­di­tional 40 staff by the end of this year.

He sees a huge po­ten­tial to de­velop sales in the US mar­ket where he says fleet man­age­ment tech­nol­ogy is cur­rently less ad­vanced than it is in Europe.

“Our goal is to have sales of 30% in the US this year,’’ he said, adding that given the amount of traf­fic on the road, there was also a vast global po­ten­tial for the com­pany’s new driver safety prod­uct for con­sumers.

“In the UK alone there are five mil­lion com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles but 35 mil­lion cars owned by in­di­vid­u­als,” he said.

Mervyn O’Cal­laghan: CEO and co-founder Pro­Vi­sion.

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