Verizon Makes SaaS Play With Fleetmatics Deal

The deal positions the companies to “become a leading provider of fleet and mobile workforce management solutions."
Matthew HellerAugust 2, 2016

Verizon Communications has agreed to acquire fleet management software company Fleetmatics for about $2.4 billion, adding another new revenue stream in the wake of its Yahoo acquisition.

Fleetmatics’ web-based software-as-a-service enables fleet operators to track vehicle location, fuel usage, speed, mileage and other information on their mobile workforce, including a driver’s behavioral data. It will become part of Verizon Telematics, which focuses on fleet management, mobile workforce solutions and the Internet of Things.

According to TechCrunch, the acquisition shows that “Verizon is continuing to use its balance sheet to finance investments into newer areas to offset continuing declines in its core, legacy business of basic phone services.”

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Verizon Telematics last month announced a deal to buy Telogis, which makes software to track commercial vehicles. The Fleetmatics deal is priced at $60 per share, a premium of about 40% to Fleetmatics’ closing price on Friday.

Andrés Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics, said the combined companies would be positioned to “become a leading provider of fleet and mobile workforce management solutions globally,” while Fleetmatics CEO Jim Travers noted that the SaaS-based fleet management solution market is “extraordinarily large, lightly penetrated, global and fragmented.”

The market “can best be attacked together with a world class product offering and the largest distribution channel in the industry,” he said.

Verizon already offers a fleet management service called Networkfleet. The telematics unit is part of its IoT segment, which posted revenue of $205 million in the second quarter, up 25% from a year ago.

In May, Fleetmatics, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, reported revenue of $78.9 million for the first quarter, up 21% from a year earlier. The company has more than 37,000 customers, about 737,000 subscribers, and 1,200 employees.

“As the market for smartphones and mobile devices gets saturated, Verizon and its biggest rival, AT&T Inc., are hoping that connecting more objects to their networks will provide new revenue,” Reuters said.

In trading Monday, Fleetmatics’ shares climbed more than 38% to $59.59 while Verizon fell 1.6% to $54.50.