With $50 million of funding in hand, KeepTruckin plans to expand on its electronic logging device (ELD) success and turn the data it is collecting into actionable information for owner-operators and small fleets, co-founder & CEO Shoaib Makani told FreightWaves on Friday at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.
“We’ve been building this company for five years and this allows us to continue to build,” he said. KeepTruckin plans to expand its support and service capacity, he said, and develop additional products, including a video monitoring safety system later this year.
But its core product to date is its ELD device, which is now installed in some 200,000 trucks across 30,000 unique fleets. Makani is anticipating having the device in 400,000 trucks by the end of this year, attributed in part of the number of vehicles that are using its legacy free application that recorded hours but is not ELD compliant.
“Our user base for that is significantly bigger, but increasingly, people are switching to the ELDs,” he said.
As the April 1 hard deadline fast approaches, Makani said there has been an uptick in business after initially slowing in January and that KeepTruckin has plenty of inventory to meet demand. According to the CEO, KeepTruckin has 50% of the under-30 trucks market currently.
“There are holdouts,” he said, confirming stories that there are many in the industry who have yet to adopt the devices. “Based on our estimate, 30% of small carriers have not deployed an ELD, so that represents a significant opportunity [for KeepTruckin]. …We want to be there for them when they are ready to do so.”
Makani related that the goal of KeepTruckin has always been compliance and safety products, and that will continue as it develops new products and applications. Next out of the box will be an expanded fuel tax reporting system with the video-based system and more telematics offerings in the future.
“We want to expand [fuel economy reporting] and help them expand benchmarking,” he explains.
As part of the company’s growth are more partnerships with leading providers in the industry, including companies such as DAT, Comdata, McLeod Software, TMW Systems, Coyote and Progressive Insurance. KeepTruckin is working with Progressive and other insurers to allow customers to share data if they wish in an attempt to lower insurance premiums.
“We’re collecting a lot of data and now we want to help them use that data and make it actionable,” Makani said.
New offerings will be rolled out in a manner that allows KeepTruckin to deliver on the support its customers need. “You can’t build everything at once,” he said. These offerings will focus on driver performance, telematics and compliance as the three core areas. “It’s not only good to have a great product, but you have to have the support.”
As evidence to that, Makani pointed to the reviews of its ELD device in the Google Play store, where 20,000 reviewers have provided the product a 4.8-star rating.
To get to this point, KeepTruckin has needed the support of drivers – just as it now needs to support those drivers. “We came into this with an eye to solve a meaningful problem,” Makani said. “And while we weren’t truckers, we spent a lot of time with drivers and we wanted to build technology to help them.”
The company put together an advisory board of drivers that provided input to product development and that ELD product is now something that the company is quite proud of – and judging by adoption rates, it seems as though many others are as well. But it is not an end point for the company.
“While we raised a whole lot of [money], we’re just in our first end,” Makani said.
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