Telematics founder Andy Walters braved the City’s turbulent times
As the London market starts to thaw, with the likes of Virgin Money gearing up to float after delaying when the global sell-off sent British shares tumbling, one small vehicle-tracking firm has braved the volatile market and will float today.
Quartix co-founder and managing director Andy Walters says he never considered pulling this morning’s £11.4m float, despite the firm’s roadshow taking place during the downturn.
“The first week of our roadshow was when the market was falling like a stone with red screens anywhere. It was really impressive that all the investors even found time to see us. But when they did, they seemed really keen on our story,” he says.
Indeed they did and broker Finncap had no problem covering Quartix’s book to raise funds for shareholders selling down their stakes.
Quartix manufactures driver-monitoring black boxes, used by both insurers with so-called telematics policies, and fleets of commercial vehicles looking to monitor their vehicle and driver data.
The firm counts more than 6,000 commercial fleet customers – with the Ginsters food business among them – with more than 56,000 individual vehicle subscriptions, and another 67,000 vehicles in its telematics arm.
The business that Walters and his three other founders bootstrapped together in 2001 has grown organically to revenues last year of £13.2m, up 58.6 per cent year-on-year, and profits of £4.7m. Now he sees the opportunity for growth overseas.
“Since 2010, we’ve been marketing our products in France and in May this year we opened an office in Chicago. The US is particularly appealing, we’ve already built a small customer base in the US and we’ve only really dipped our toe in the water.”
Quartix will have a valuation of around £54.1m upon its placing and will raise £11.4m for those existing shareholders, but no funds will be raised for the business itself.
“We don’t need any cash injection to fund our growth and we’ve even told investors that we’ll actually be paying a dividend,” says Walters. “We’ll even be paying 50 per cent of free cash flow as an initial dividend policy.”
It’s no wonder then that investors will be keen on tracking Quartix today.