Fleet News

Cybit aims for rapid growth

Ten months after its acquisition by private equity company Francisco Partners, Cybit has laid out ambitious plans for growth over the next couple of years.

The telematics supplier, which has more than 2,000 customers across Europe running in excess of 50,000 vehicles, is looking to double its client base by 2012 through organic growth alone.

Acquisitions could accelerate this further, says chief executive officer Bill Henry.

Henry, who was appointed in April with a specific remit to grow the business, believes acquisitions could “more than double our size over the next two years”.

Who are the likely targets? Henry divides the sector into three: headline names, mid-size companies and the smaller players.

“Most consolidation will be with the first two,” he adds.

Cybit is going through a recruitment phase, employing more sales staff to fulfil its aspirations. Its customers currently average 30 vehicles but it is looking to target much larger fleets as it bids to become the clear pan-European leader with hundreds of thousands of units spread across a broad geographic reach.

Henry forecasts substantial organic growth as a result of expansion in telematics demand from fleet operators, despite suggestions in some quarters that the 2014 arrival of eCall, a satellite-driven communications tool set to become standard in all new cars, will make telematics technology defunct.

He faces a number of challenges, not least the highly-fragmented nature of individual European companies where many different telematics firms have sprung up over the past couple of years.

“Most telematics players are small – they started organically and struggle for capitalisation,” says Henry.

“They might become significant in a region or country, but not across Europe.

“Telematics used to be hard to deliver but the technology has advanced and delivering a basic service is easier which gives opportunities for new companies to start up. But our customers want to do more than just track and trace.”

It is not just telematics which is fragmented, however, many customers are too. But as they consolidate, so telematics becomes more fundamental to the way they manage their fleet operations.

And their expectations about what telematics can deliver are rising.

Henry compares it to peeling the layers of an onion.

Cybit’s Fleetstar-Online product starts with track and trace of the vehicle, moves on to utilisation tools, brings in ways to measure CO2 emissions and incorporates driver behaviour management.

“The value is driven by applications where we create the capabilities and then package them up to meet customer requirements,” Henry says.

“It’s a natural progression for customers to take on the next level of functionality.”


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