AutoTrip, which is led by E-Car Club founder Andrew Wordsworth, captured £146,030 during its last Crowdcube round and is known to create a connected device which automates the recording of business mileage. The company stated:
“AutoTrip provides the UK’s 6 million business drivers with self-install internet connected devices, saving their organisations up to 35% on their car fleet costs by automating the recording and reporting of their business mileage. We believe the resulting fleet connectivity positions AutoTrip at the forefront of ‘The Internet of Cars,’ sitting atop a wealth of monetizable opportunities for data provision and analytics. Having doubled our customer base in Q4 2015, filed new IP and developed a scalable B2B route to market, AutoTrip is now seeking investment to capitalise on the market opportunity by expanding its sales operations and extending its technology advantage.”
The company’s milestones include:
- Customers: In 2015, AutoTrip grew its organisational user-base by 750% from 7 to 50 organisations.
- Partnerships & PR: AutoTrip has been featured by Fleet News and has secured over 30 business-to-business channel partners to actively resell AutoTrip’s product.
- Grant Funding: The business has secured over £135,000 in non-dilutive grant funding from Innovate UK Awards. The Company was showcased by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership in 2014, as well as being nominated as one of the top 40 cleantech businesses in 2014 by Cleantech Innovate.
- Intellectual Property: In addition to our core software, AutoTrip has a registered trademark (as of October 10th 2014), has patents pending on the privacy settings, and achieved additional patent pending status on near field communication technology at the end of 2015.
- Team: In 2015 AutoTrip strengthened their team through hiring a commercial director and a senior board member.
Explaining why investors should consider the company, AutoTrip noted:
“Businesses across the UK depend on up to 6 million people driving to conduct their activities, either using their own vehicles or company cars. In order for these drivers to benefit from the tax allowances available for business travel expenses, they must submit mileage records to their employers and accountants. For the vast majority, logging mileage claims is a manual activity that takes on average two hours per month to complete. AutoTrip automates this process with a combination of in-car hardware and cloud-based software, reducing this monthly time requirement to less than 5 minutes whilst also ensuring a higher degree of accuracy.
“Our product consists of a low-cost, self-install device that plugs into the “on-board diagnostics” port, found in most vehicles manufactured since the mid-90s. The device records journey details using the GPS network, and uploads them to AutoTrip’s cloud-based software using its own internal GSM connection. Driver privacy is protected by ensuring that only trips approved by the driver as business related are visible to employers. AutoTrip is a B2B subscription based service, and is designed to offer an average payback-period to the employer of under 4-months.
“By automating and digitising mileage records, AutoTrip is able to bring accuracy and clarity to data that was previously resource-intensive to collect and prone to errors. In addition to speeding up the reporting process – from a UK average of 2 hours per month to under 5 minutes.”
Funds from the AutoTrips second initiative will go towards:
- Expand sales:
- To make 3 new hires to the sales & marketing team – Head of Network Development, Sales & Marketing Manager (to generate highly qualified leads), and a Customer Services Associate (to support operations and inbound enquiries)
- commence a social media strategy, including the development of customer experience videos
- Hire a PR agency to support targeting relevant industry publications
- Spend on SEO enhancements
- To have started the sales process with 2 Blue chip organisations
- Drive technology improvements:
- To hire frontend and backend software developers to drive further system improvements and UX iterations
- to further enhance the hardware to ensure the product remains best in class.
Since its launch, the campaign has successfully raised nearly £70,000 from 76 investors. It is set to close mid-February.
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