WA connected vehicle startup Fleetsu bought by US tech giant

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Australian connected fleet management startup Fleetsu has been snapped up by US tech company Rand McNally, which targeted the local company’s potential to innovate the 166-year-old incumbent.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Announced on Wednesday, the deal will see Fleetsu come under the Rand McNally name and ownership of its parent firm TELEO Capital. The companies’ technologies will be integrated for existing and new customers.

Fleetsu was founded in Perth in 2015 by Jakub Felinski, who will become Rand McNally’s chief innovation officer under the deal.

Fleetsu has been acquired by US navigation company Rand McNally

The Perth-headquartered company provides hardware and software allowing users to track and manage vehicles and the data this produces. The insights help owners optimise vehicle efficiency, fuel management and driver safety.

Users range from small commercial fleets to long-haul trucking, with the company landing private and public sector clients including Avis, Budget, the Victoria Police, John Holland and Centurion.

Last year Fleetsu also partnered with Toyota Australia to offer the motor company’s business customers a new fleet management platform known as Toyota Halo.

Fleetsu grew rapidly after making noise for winning a 2016 hackathon for public safety solutions and securing $1.2 million in initial angel investment.

Fleetsu has expanded to offices in Melbourne and India, and had been eyeing a European expansion. The company will now be relocating to Rand McNally’s base in Chicago, with founder Mr Felinski staying on as the US company’s new chief innovation officer.

In a statement he said Fleetsu had been successful by remaining hyper-focused on its customers.

“With Rand McNally’s strong navigation and transportation expertise and our already deep bench of leading engineers focused on creating technology data solutions, we are confident that we will be moving the industry forward,” Mr Felinski said.

“We look forward to expanding our combined global business that writes a new chapter for connected transportation, led by technology.”

Rand McNally started as a publishing shop in the late 19th century but today is best known as a mapping software and hardware provider. But it also offers analytics and fleet management services, including software as a service navigation products for trucks.

“We have a very broad customer base that uses our technology today, whether those are navigation devices or telematics devices,” Rand McNally chief executive Aaron Dannenbring told US media overnight.

“And really, what Fleetsu’s going to bring to us is an incredible amount of innovation that allows us to really bolster those capabilities so that drivers using our products and vehicle fleets running on our platform will have ever more efficient routes [and] ever more efficient and safe driver experiences.”

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