‘Best piece of advice was focus on the customer’

EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalists Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray of ProVision CameraMatics

Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray of ProVision CameraMatics.

Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray of ProVision CameraMatics.

 

Using a combination of technologies, ProVision CameraMatics launched in 2016 in an effort to allow fleet operators improve road safety, reduce collisions, manage their risk and compliance and reduce operating costs.

In the interim three years, the software-as-a-service business based in Dublin has grown to include more than 350 customers across Britain and Ireland, and has grown its operation into mainland Europe while also progressing its US expansion.

For founders Simon Murray and Mervyn O’Callaghan, the move comes after about 45 years’ experience in the fleet and telecommunications businesses.

Formerly managing director of Carphone Warehouse Ireland, O’Callaghan founded eDrive which he ultimately sold in 2016. Murray, meanwhile, joined eDrive in 2013 as sales and marketing director having gained considerable experience in fleet services.

Their new business is on a fast-paced growth trajectory, targeting a team in the US of 100 staff over the coming three years from their Virginia base. In addition, they plan to increase their headcount in Ireland by 20 over the next 18 months.

And the ultimate vision? “Displace the telematics industry” globally with their “CameraMatics” technology.

What vision or lightbulb moment prompted you to start up in business?

In our previous business – eDrive – we provided outsourced technical and customer support services for a large portion of the telematics and driver safety technology companies. This gave us an unique insight into the gaps in terms of customer requirements and expectations.

From our experience we saw the opportunity to provide a single system using real-time camera footage, telematics, autonomous driving technology and connected smart sensor technology. Our system allows a fleet operator to manage all its fleet intelligence, fleet safety and compliance in one single simple-to-use platform and all in real time.

What is your greatest business achievement to date?

Validation from the fleet operators and the motor industry as a whole that our solution reduces accidents, improves road safety and reduces operating costs. This has been reflected in the number of industry awards we have won and the speed at which we continue to add new customers.

What were the best and the worst pieces of advice you received when starting out?

The best piece of advice was focus on customer and work back to the technology. The worst piece of advice which was given to us was don’t enter the US market.

Describe your growth funding path

We set the company up initially using our own funds. We were in the lucky position to generate revenue relatively quickly and used this to start to grow our software development team. We raised seed funding of €1 million in 2017 to continue our investment into software development and build our customer support operations. We are now in the process of raising a larger series A funding round to assist with our planned growth and sales activity within the US and Europe and to further enhance our ongoing development of technology.

Have you started to feel the effects of the economic upturn within your sector and industry?

If you have the right product, in the right place and at the right time, you will be successful regardless of economics or industry trends.

What is the most common mistake you see entrepreneurs make and what is the most important piece of advice you would offer to a less experienced entrepreneur?

The biggest mistake tends to be not listening to your customers. Sometimes your customers may not think the problem you are solving is actually a problem in the first instance.