BaseRide wants to be the nerve centre of vehicle fleet ops
By Benjamin Cher August 25, 2015
- Platform to track vehicles location and engine statistics in real-time
- Moved from Russia last November, seeking Series A within 12mths
TRAFFIC jams can be frustrating to individuals. For businesses, it also means vehicles that are not generating revenue.
Singapore-based BaseRide Technologies wants to solve that dilemma, having developed a real-time tracking and analytics platform for businesses to plug in their vehicle fleet data to optimise fleet movement.
It started as just a project for cofounder and chief operating officer Evgeni Makarov and a team that wanted a tool for drivers to avoid traffic jams in Russia.
“We had relationships with different companies which provide and consume traffic information – for example, we provided Garmin with traffic jam information [in Russia] before it switched to a global provider,” Makarov told Digital News Asia in Singapore.
“Some partners asked us if we could do something better than what they were using, and we saw that there was a lack of interesting contextual solutions that provided precise analytics,” he added.
Makarov decided to start BaseRide Technologies to solve these issues – he declined to say if the small group he was working with came on board to his startup.
BaseRide Technologies’ platform can track vehicles in real-time, and depending on the tracker embedded in the vehicle, may provide engine statistics in real-time as well. Businesses can get an overview, via an online dashboard, of where their vehicle fleet is at any time.
It runs on a subscription-based model, with enterprises being charged for each vehicle connected to the platform on a monthly basis.
The company currently tracks 20,000 vehicles on its platform, out of which are 1,500 buses. These vehicles being tracked are in various stages from pilot test to full implementation.
From Russia with love
Makarov (pic above) initially bootstrapped BaseRide Technologies with fellow cofounder Timofey Shishkin. Last November, it secured seed funding of S$589,000 (US$416,000) from Incuvest, under the Technology Incubator Scheme of Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
The company currently has a distributed workforce that can range anywhere from 10-15 people, based in Singapore, Russia and Latvia.
“From a technical point of view, we are ready, but we want to show the real value of the seed funding from the projects we have,” Makarov said.
BaseRide Technologies moved to Singapore from Russia last November to explore opportunities in Asia.
“We understand that Singapore is a good city and country to make use cases for the rest of the region,” Makarov said.
The company has had a slightly different journey than most startups, having secured big-name customers like Garmin while still bootstrapping in Russia. It had also secured a number of Russian municipal authorities as customers.
This success back home was replicated on the international stage with the Municipal Transport Authority in New York, SP Transit in Brazil, and a large leasing company in Singapore, having come on board as customers.
These customers did not come easily, as BaseRide Technologies had to understand and cater solutions to each company, according to Makarov.
“We need to provide analytics and a user experience [which is intuitive] without the need for extra training,” he said.
There is no one size fits all solution for BaseRide Technologies customers, which have wide-ranging needs.
“Companies have a choice of simple GPS (global positioning system) trackers to more complicated devices that can track engine statistics such as speed, temperature and fuel consumption, at any given time,” Makarov said.
This wide range of customer needs has actually helped the company develop its platform’s capabilities, he said.
For example, getting municipal authorities as customers required BaseRide Technologies to develop an API (application programming interface) that provides real-time estimated time of arrival (ETA) of buses.
“This ETA factored in traffic jams and slow traffic the buses will face, giving commuters a more contextual ETA,” he added.
All the data that the platform collects also give customers the capability to do predictive maintenance, allowing mechanics to spot trouble developing in engines through the readouts.
“If a mechanic wants to search for a specific parameter, for example engine temperatures exceeding 150 degrees, the platform can narrow down and show which vehicles display that characteristic,” Makarov said.
BaseRide Technologies also has notifications via instant messaging apps like Slack, allowing customers to be updated on their vehicles’ whereabouts without having to log into the system. This is also in addition to mobility options that give customers a look into their fleet operations on-the-go.
Beyond just tracking vehicles for fleet management, the platform can also track people via their smartphones which have integrated GPS trackers.
BaseRide Technologies had a project with an undisclosed customer to do a geo-spatial analysis of movement in a city. It was provided data from its customer to track drivers on the road for city planning purposes.
Under the hood
The BaseRide Technologies platform was developed using mainly Python and C++, which Makarov touted as a “very efficient combination.”
“Our web application was built with a real-time approach, with web sockets and real-time changing of data,” he said.
Applications were also developed natively on each mobile platform to get the best results.
As for security, HTTPS was used to secure the interface between the customer and the system. HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a network.
Customers can also spilt their data from other customers, and host their data on their own servers instead.
BaseRide Technologies can run on public cloud services like Amazon Web Services to a laptop, depending on how much computing power the customer requires.
The company is now looking to improve its mobile app, and is also looking to add more features for delivery companies and add new analytics reports for transportation and leasing companies.
“For example, leasing and rental companies need to hide some data about the previous customer from the current customer,” Makarov said.
“Just last week we spoke to a partner about a school bus project, ETA for school buses in Singapore – we are going to integrate the systems to provide parents notifications about school bus arrivals,” he added.
BaseRide Technologies will be looking to refine the routing algorithm for optimising delivery routes as well.
On the personnel front, the company will be looking to expand its technical support team in Singapore to support customers in Asia. This is in addition to growing the sales and marketing team for countries outside of Singapore.
BaseRide Technologies is also seeking to raise its Series A funding round within 12 months, Makarov said.
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