Masternaut is a telematics company specialising in fleet and asset management. It has featured in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, a list of the fastest growing UK technology firms, in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. In April 2011 Masternaut merged with former AIM-listed competitor Cybit, and is operating under the Masternaut name. The company is owned by Summit Partners and Fleetcor, following its acquisition from Francisco Partners in 2014. Masternaut has around 200 employees, based in the UK and France. Product development is managed by teams based in Eastern Europe. Masternaut withdrew from the European marketplace in 2015.
Masternaut and Cybit company history
Masternaut was founded in 1965 by Serge Deleau in France under the name SDM. It was acquired by Martin Port in 1995 and entered the UK marketplace, where growth was rapid. It rebranded to Masternaut in 2012. In 2013, Masternaut acquired Three X, a mobile workforce software business, from GE.
Previously a Masternaut competitor, AIM-listed Cybit, led by CEO Richard Horsman, acquired Thales Telematics from Thales Group and public sector telematics specialist Amatics in 2007. Cybit made a further acquisition in 2008 of Truck24, a German Telematics Logistics provider, for €4 million. In 2009, private equity firm Francisco Partners acquired Cybit Holdings plc in a £23 million deal, taking the company private. Cybit also acquired Oxloc, a specialist non-powered asset tracking devices provider, that year. Meanwhile, Masternaut was on the acquisition trail, signing hosting and data store company Fibre-City for £6 million.
In 2011, Masternaut merged with Cybit in a £100m deal to create Europe's largest telematics solutions provider, with a 10,000-strong customer base spread across 32 countries. However, Berg Insight reported that this position was lost in 2015 to Tom Tom as new business growth faltered. The Berg report for 2016 indicates Masternaut continues to lose market share to key competitors. Masternaut remains the largest telematics provider in the UK, and as part of the FleetCor family, is one of the largest fleet suppliers in the UK covering a fleet's total cost of ownership needs.
Masternaut signed a partnership with Telefonica in 2012, estimated to be worth $910million between 2012–2020. Masternaut also has partnerships with SwissCom and with many specialist fleet providers, to ensure fleet managers can meet their needs in one place.
In 2014 Masternaut Group Holdings was sold by Francisco Partners to Summit Partners and Fleetcor Technologies for an undisclosed sum. The company appointed Dhruv S. Parekh as CEO of Masternaut in 2015. The appointment was seen as surprising given Parekh's lack of experience in telematics and the European marketplace.
The launch of new fuel and maintenance modules in 2016 witnesses Masternaut's efforts to regain market share in Europe and drive sales growth through technical innovation whilst leveraging its Fleetcor relationship.
The company aims to become 'the Google or Facebook of Europe' driving a technology focused culture amongst staff and developing user interface and product reliability to create a mass-market product. Costly customer service teams are being replaced by self-service portals and engineering has been outsourced to DiarEyes.
A large-scale company restructuring aims to see the company return to profitability by early 2017 as part of a long-term vision to be the largest fleet telematics provider in Europe.
Despite poor credit ratings in 2014-2016 the company has regained cash liquidity under Parekh. The introduction of automatic contract rollovers has cut the rate of attrition and new contracts requiring customers to buy hardware outright and upfront has supported the rebuilding of cash reserves.
Masternaut's solutions use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track a vehicle, employee or asset's location and transmit performance data in real time to Masternaut's data centre. Customers can view the data on their own vehicles' location, speed, and other parametres in near real-time.
This has a number of applications, such as fleet management, scheduling workforce management, fixed asset management and lone worker tracking. These can be integrated with back-office systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Goldmine, SAP and Oracle.
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