Start-up Starts Interview Series. OviDrive – Driving forward fleet management

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August 7th, 2019, posted in #forfounders
by admin


“Start-up Starts” is a mini-interview series with some of the awesome start-ups we`ve worked with throughout the years and their inception. The first few months can make or break a project, so we wanted to dive deeper into these crucial moments for any start-up. We asked everyone the same three questions and … the rest is history. Literally.


OviDrive took off as the fleet management app that aims to radically change industry standards through its integrated approach. The ultimate goal was to provide companies in Australia – and ultimately the entire world – an easy way to administer their cars, drivers and third-party providers, such as gas stations and repair shops. With one of its co-founders sporting a 10-year experience in the fleet industry, you could say Ovidrive was long overdue.


Besides a complex ERP-like web app, the project also entailed a mobile application, available for both Android and iOS. Through the web app, the admin can add cars and drivers, renew registration numbers, schedule repairs and even set up insurance policies for the cars. Using the mobile app, the driver can connect to his car through an OBD2 port that gives him all the information he needs about the car. He can also schedule service visits, pay fines, send messages through the integrated chat and even replace his car.


Here at UPDIVISION we did everything from scratch: from business analysis and wireframes, for both web and mobile, to the design itself, as well as frontend and backend development. 


Ron Sullivan, co-founder and CCO, talks about how OviDrive came to be and what sparked the idea for a car fleet controlled entirely by touch and click.  


1. What sparked the idea for OviDrive?

Ron: It’s tough to pinpoint the catalyst, but I would say the coming together of minds is what sparked the idea for OviDrive. The idea had been gaining momentum over the last 10 years of my being in the fleet industry. It started from “We really need to do things better” and evolved into “Let`s automate the industry”.


My colleague Bec and I have been lucky enough to be mentored by some of the industry’s best people over the years. This gave us not only a great head start in terms of customer profiling and fleet management specifics, but also a deep understanding of the things that are dysfunctional in the industry itself. For example, new technologies being used in an insipid, siloed manner. A big frustration for us was being part of a domain where everything was still done the old-fashioned way, while other industries were witnessing a revolution.


But an idea would remain just that without action. My friend and co-founder Irwan immediately took hold of the concept and began market and environmental analysis. In turn, Ovi, the technical co-founder, kicked off the wireframes, user stories and use case scenarios. We`ve done all these things while continuously asking ourselves the same question: Why? A lot of time was spent on assessing the best technologies for solving the problem.


The “Aha!” moment was basically a coming together of several things: domain knowledge, environmental understanding, technology and the realisation that, if we want to improve something, we need to change the industry in its entirety, not replicate it.



2. Which were the first three steps you took to get things rolling?

Ron: Firstly, we did thorough market research not just in Australia, but globally. We also extended the research outside of the fleet industry to understand trends and opportunities that could potentially impact us. Secondly, we engaged what we now call our “alpha customers” (as this is what they went on to be) and began product validation. Thirdly, we looked for funding opportunities.



3. Describe the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in the first 3 months.

Ron: Personally, the hardest part was letting go. I`ve always had high-level, well-paying corporate jobs. Two years prior, I took the plunge and began building a fleet leasing business. Things looked promising and it felt like it was only a matter of time before the investment would pay itself off. I had to let it all go.


Business-wise, the hardest part is that, no matter how grand your vision is, you still need capital. The biggest hurdle is precisely this, capital.   



If you`re a start-up looking for a technical partner to be there along the ride, look no further. UPDIVISION specializes in helping start-ups validate, launch and refine their MVP, while staying true to their vision. In Eric Ries words, MVP is a process, not a product, and so is finding the right software development team.