DRIVE Software Solutions (DRIVE) has announced new funding and a new Chief Executive Officer as it gears up for the next phase of its planned global expansion.
Stevenage, Hertfordshire-based DRIVE, pioneer of the fleet management SaaS (software as a service) industry, has secured funding from leading Swiss investment firm, VIVA Investment Partners (VIP), to accelerate its growth on a global basis in the emerging digital transportation space.
And it has appointed a new CEO, Alastair Houston, to oversee this next growth stage. Houston brings over 30 years’ experience in the automotive sector, most recently as managing director at Sandicliffe Motor Contracts.
Before that he was at Northgate plc where he held a number of executive roles, including UK Business Transformation Director and Managing Director at multiple Northgate subsidiary businesses. He has successfully executed profitable sales growth strategies and has extensive asset management experience.
DRIVE is the creator and supplier of the well-known DRIVE fleet management and leasing software product – a single generic cloud-based solution, underpinned by Oracle – that supports vehicle management requirements worldwide, supplying leasing companies, fleet management providers and major fleets.
It is also the company behind ODO, the pioneering SaaS solution that allows leasing brokers and franchised dealers to manage the administration, service delivery and compliance of their customers’ vehicle assets through one secure, organised application.
The ODO platform, which also runs on the Oracle Cloud and is deployed in either app, tablet or PC form, enables SME businesses to transform their purchase and control of all vehicle asset-related services.
VIP, with a track record of investing in the transportation and mobility sectors with a special focus on aviation, new space technology and automotive ecosystems, has identified digital services as an integral part of the future of the car industry and, as such, has made the decision to back DRIVE with this new round of funding.
Commenting on these latest developments, newly-appointed CEO Houston said: “The automotive sector is currently going through a period of unprecedented change, with ensuing fragmentation and confusion within the marketplace.
“We feel that the securing of this funding during these uncertain political times should be seen as an extremely positive move for the British economy,” he said.
Martin Drake, co-founder and director of DRIVE Software Solutions, who was recently inducted into the Technology Hall of Fame at the International Asset Finance Network Awards, said that the new backers would enable the management team to take the business forward to the next stage of its development.
“With ODO, we believe that we have an excellent opportunity to bring order to a disrupted marketplace, while this new backing allows us to expand the scale of the business and our marketing support for it. With the global financial expertise of VIP and the sales, operations and industry expertise of our new CEO, we firmly believe we now have a clear cutting edge within the fleet and automotive sectors,” he said.
Rene Eichenberger, Chairman of VIVA Investment Partners, which also includes Crossbow, Horizon21, ClearSky, Acron, Sterling Partners and Sargon Capital, commented: “Through two decades of venture capital and fund management experience, I have helped to build hundreds of firms and worked with management teams to realise their firms’ potential. DRIVE fits our criteria for success, and our funding enables it to expand globally.”