- GPS solutions tied to the asset as opposed to the person to monitor movement and other data is growing.
- CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ: CAMP) closes the purchase of LoJack Corporation on March 18, 2016 for $134 million or $6.45 per share. LoJack is the leader in the Stolen Vehicle Recovery (SVR) market.
- Tiny publicly traded IGEN Networks (OTCQB: IGEN, CSE: IGN) achieves strategic partnership with Verizon Wireless and others to help land record order contracts to provide services catered for Stolen Vehicle Recovery and roadside assistance.
- IGEN utilizes GPS satellite tracking, a GPRS cellular data transfer system, and proprietary software to offer the most advanced tracking and recovery system on the market.
Location based software has helped make old business models new and more efficient. The most obvious example is Uber. Over the past few years, Uber has reinvented the taxi business without owning one taxi by creating an efficient way for consumers to connect with drivers. Another example is Zootly, an app that allows one to locate a moving truck nearby, book it, and get your stuff from point A to point B with minimal fuss. And yes, Zootly doesn’t actually own any moving trucks.
Uber works because the driver’s location can be found through the GPS tracking software in a smart phone. The proliferation of smart phones, location based software, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have combined to resolve more needs. In particular, there is a growing need to locate a vehicle when the driver may not want to be found, or is not being driven at all. This need is just as important for fleet managers as it is for consumers.
Here are some questions that can now be answered with better solutions for the car owner. What happens if my car is stolen? Will I be notified immediately if my vehicle is moved without my knowledge? Can my vehicle actually be recovered? Can I monitor my vehicle if its loaned out to a friend or family member? Is my son driving my car too fast? Has my daughter driven outside of an area she told me she was going? Is there a service that does all this and provides roadside assistance?
A car dealership owner might ask some similar questions? How many vehicles am I now holding in inventory? Where exactly are my vehicles? Is a sales manager having a particular car washed, on a test drive, or take it home that day? Why can’t I find the exact car a buyer wants when my paperwork shows it’s in my inventory? How can I provide a buyer with the same service and peace of mind now available to me?
Who has the answers?
The race appears to be on to “uberize” vehicles. Although there is no known word, it seems everyone knows what it means. To “uberize” a vehicle essentially is to enable it so that one knows where that vehicle is at all times. By adding additional features, the potential market is huge.
CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ: CAMP) certainly recognizes the opportunity. On March 18, 2016, it closed an all cash $134 million purchase of LoJack Corporation buying its shares at $6.45 per share. LoJack is the leader in providing Stolen Vehicle Recovery (SVR) systems. It seems likely that CalAmp will eventually update LoJack’s antiquated SVR system to a system that utilizes GPS.
IGEN Networks Corp. (OTCQB: IGEN, CSE: IGN) is a company that claims it can answer all these questions now, and is aggressively targeting markets led by LoJack and AAA. Through its wholly owned subsidiary Nimbo, LLC based in Murrieta, California, the company has bundled a vehicle recovery, inventory management, and roadside assistance program that is beginning to take off. Its dealership tracking device is interfaced with GPS satellite tracking and a GPRS cellular data transfer system to provide what it calls the most advanced tracking and recovery system on the market.
Strategic partnership with Verizon Wireless helps win new orders
On March 10, 2016, IGEN announced it received its largest single order. The Master Purchase Order for 12,000 vehicle activations is to be deployed across several major states on the Verizon Wireless Network. Late last year, IGEN’s subsidiary achieved PRM status within the Verizon Partner Program, Verizon Wireless’ lead share program. This includes Nimbo’s product and service offerings being fully integrated into Verizon’s Partner Relationship Management (PRM) portal, providing deeper direct engagement with the Verizon salesforce. This order trumps the Company’s previous largest order announced in January involving 3600 activations. It appears the relationship with Verizon Wireless and other partners is starting to pay off.
IGEN CEO Neil Chan states, “We recognized the opportunities years ago, and we are now positioned to take advantage of them. We are lean and mean with next to no debt, experienced management, recognized partners, and a massive potential market.” He added, “The most exciting part is that we are building a recurring revenue model that should provide us high margin cash flow for years to come.”
IGEN’s most recent quarterly report issued for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 showed revenues for the first nine months of $805,347 vs. $486,002 for the same period the previous year, and a loss of .04 per share vs. .02 per share the previous year. A form 4 filed February 25, 2016 reports that CEO Chan purchased 30,000 shares of common stock on the open market between February 9 and 12 at prices between .174 and .18 per share, and also exercised 55556 stock options on 1/7/16 at .09 per share.
Despite two record orders announced this year, IGEN stock has remained in a tight trading range on low volume. At US$0.17 per share, the market cap for IGEN stock is under $5 million. IGEN has next to no debt and a proven management team with experience from the likes of Motorola and Sierra Wireless. The stock is listed in both the U.S. and Canada (CSE: IGN).