Tony Summerville saw the pain points in managing a large fleet at an early age, as his father owned an electrical supply business in Alabama and Tennessee. He grew up working at the company during summers.
“Their fleet was one of those things that’s not really their core competency, but definitely a huge part of their operations. When things go bad, it has a big impact on their ability to serve their own customers,” says Summerville.
After working in software and seeing the changes coming in the transportation field, Summerville decided to create a software platform that could help organizations track, analyze and improve their fleet operations.
He founded Fleetio to offer a fleet management software solution that also helps companies streamline maintenance costs, fuel, and other expenses that drivers face every day, as well as reduce downtime.
He calls the product “an organization brain for everything fleet-related.”
Targeting those in the construction, services and logistics industries, Fleetio automates maintenance scheduling, provides a high view of the fleet’s service history, work and purchase order approvals, compliance inspections, and recall alerts.
Companies can also manage all vehicles’ operations, from location history, total cost of ownership, VIN-based maintenance schedules, vehicle assignments for employees, and fuel management.
“We’ve built tons of integrations over the years, so we can pull data off the vehicles directly for GPS tracking, odometer readings or any other diagnostic trouble codes.”
“It’s all about getting data into Fleetio as seamlessly as possible, without doing any manual data entry,” says Summerville.
The startup has seen great success with their platform, which currently services companies in over 70 countries around the world, with eyes on more in the coming months.
Last November, the Birmingham, AL-based startup launched an integration with over 30,000 automotive maintenance shops, including both national chains and independent shops.
“We spent the last couple of year building relationships with a lot of the national maintenance providers like Bridgestone, Firestone, Pep Boys, and Jiffy Lube,” he says. The integration connect into Fleetio’s maintenance provider network and transmit the maintenance and work order data to the platform.
Fleetio customers can then pull service records from the shop to approve repair orders online and streamline billing. Customers can also set up automatic approvals for items under a certain price or for a specific service type and approve or deny work orders with one click on the app, Fleetio Go.
The startup has remained mostly bootstrapped to this point through organic revenue and growth, doubling in employees every year since it was founded.
Following a $3.5 million growth capital raise this month, Summerville plans to double the company’s staff from their current 53 employees over the next 18 months. Hiring will be primarily in the sales and engineering divisions.
“We’re just on the cusp on seeing a trend where you don’t have to be in San Francisco or a major tech market to build great SaaS companies. The ability to build great software and deliver great service can be achieved anywhere.”
“For us, it was grit, determination and making progress every day. It all adds up,” says Summerville.