ProVision hopes car safety tech will drive 400% growth
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.