Company Vision – Focus on Critical Asset Management for Improved Security, Safety, Productivity, and Efficiency. Offer IoT Technology Solutions to Smaller Transportation Firms at an Affordable Price Point. Build a Company with a Simple Capital and Cost Structure Initially with the Ability to Expand & Scale to Become a Significant IoT Technology Business to Meet Broader Market Needs.
As a serial Entrepreneur, Rick Burtner Founder has been an Executive and led teams that have built several mid-market-sized technology businesses that were sold and absorbed into larger companies during his career. He pursued a positive disruptive approach in launching and building such other businesses. At Propel GPS he has done so again by pursuing positive market disruption and building a business from a Vision without any institutional investors to date; only with Accredited Equity Individual Investors, his funds, and bank / SBA debt. Creating an exciting SaaS technology company based on what he calls, an “efficient capital model” by utilizing the cloud, modularized software programming techniques & hosting partners like AWS / Data Flow has allowed him to realize his Vision as a low-cost provider of such IoT services in a profitable recurring revenue SaaS model!
Rick Burtner as company Founder, President & CEO has had an illustrious journey from such a simple and meager start at Propel GPS to becoming where they are today as the company pivots and expands exponentially into other related markets by leveraging their patented software platform. He reminisces, “a few of us stepped away from the security of an established company job and set out to positively disrupt the telematics & transportation industry with our IoT premise to follow what Herb Kelleher and Southwest Airlines did to the airline industry four decades ago”. They challenged the then status quo by providing great service and offering low-cost yet reliable on-time flights without the overhead / added complexity of managing multiple plane types, assigned seating, and first-class. Its a loyal following of expanded market passengers soon started to feel valued and most importantly cared for on a personal level and spread the positive experience to other middle-class friends who became customers based on the Southwest affordable price and great customer service. Later on, Southwest Airlines morphed to attracting business customers with early bird assigned seating and other new programs.
Herb Kelleher, who started Southwest Airlines as the ultimate Maverick Entrepreneur, took on larger and better-funded established airlines at the time such as TWA, Braniff, Pan Am, United, etc., and won. Many of these other airlines don’t exist today and others have gone bankrupt to stay in business, but not Southwest Airlines! Southwest Airlines brought commercial flying to the middle class with on-time, reliable and affordable service. Analogous to that successful growth story, Propel GPS brings technology to smaller transportation companies who cannot afford high-priced technology solutions nor deal with larger service providers who do not deliver great service after the sale, yet smaller firms need such technology to compete and survive. The resulting low-cost, nimble IoT company that provides great service today, Propel GPS, is able to price its services using a “Southwest Airlines market model”, while still supporting its growth, profitability goals, and thriving in a competitive market.
With the publishing of this article, Propel GPS, is launching a new disruptive initiative to the HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, and service van market whereby basic location tracking, geofence, speed, breadcrumb historical trails and whether in motion, idling excessively, or stopped is measured for the low all-in the monthly price of $13.99 per vehicle. See www.PropelGPS.com for more details!
Propel GPS has the right blend of employees, dedicated 1099 team members, outside “partner” companies, and diverse product supply businesses whose devices are integrated with our software platform, allowing us to ship without interruption even in the midst of the worldwide chip shortage, that has also allowed us to maintain our revenue and profitability during the COVID pandemic. As the company pivots out of the COVID pandemic, it is well-positioned to “Blow the Doors Off” with exponential growth given the partner companies and processes already in place enabling Propel GPS to scale! In order to cover the additional working capital needs expected for the resulting avalanche of growth that will come with our new initiatives, we are conducting a national search for the “right” funding and strategic partner seated at our Board table to assist with such funding. We are raising up to $10MM of new equity capital likely to come from a west coast group that understands the IoT market and its technology growth prospects from a commercial perspective more focused on market trends & size, customer needs analysis with solutions that meet such needs now and into the future including an appreciation for a strong and experienced management and partner team in place rather than always placing an inordinate emphasis singularly focused on financial spreadsheets and reports.
One aspect of the Propel GPS planned pivot beyond the COVID pandemic with its new IoT product solutions and in pursuing synergistic markets, adding several key & lead driven team members to augment our current team in three functional business segments, recapitalizing the Company to adequately fund it for the next phase of growth that leverages the foundational platforms, partners and IoT customer service, knowledge, winning formula we have created to date, per Rick. “I have been blessed to have experienced both west coast and east coast type investor mindsets and have dealt with the executive levels of companies like Crosspoint Venture Partners in Silicon Valley, Tudor Capital, CS First Boston, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Ascend Communications, Lucent, Intel, Cisco, Solectron, GE Capital, Amerindo Partners, Cal Amp, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and Kore in growing Bluestar Communications as a co-founder from a basement start-up to a $1.2BN IPO registration within 2 years of its founding or presiding over a growth story at SkyBitz that a team and I grew to achieve an INC 500 # 112 level Company, a Deloitte FAST 50 VA #1 Company and a FAST 500 #2 national company in 3 years; all of which have helped us build Propel GPS directly or indirectly through such experience and lessons learned. Such experiences also allow me to anticipate what is required in order to preside over the next phase of the company’s planned exponential growth already underway and share this experience with team members as an active ‘player coach’!”
We are relocating our Company headquarters to the Charlotte, NC area in order to be closer to a few key business partners, a thriving business community, and have better access to employee talent needed to complete our next planned phase of growth. We expect to locate in an 'Opportunity Zone' with rollover tax deferral of investor gains and the Company has already made a Section 754 election that creates advantages for our current and new investors as “icing on the cake” in addition to the strong fundamental SaaS recurring revenue IoT business that exists!
Rick has already said that he wants to take the business to the next level with a “significant anchor investor” that has IoT sector experience, so he can free up from his capital raising role and diverse management roles presently to focus on business development, strategic selling & marketing. He wants to help catapult the company into a better known national brand and stature in order to move higher up on the business “food chain” with more enterprise-type customers where we bring our positive disruptive formula of saving money, providing improved efficiency and productivity, and simplifying processes for better ROI as part of customers’ critical asset management.
The recapitalization of Propel GPS allows Rick and his team to focus on brand building, marketing, and creating sales channel relationships in the US market for 2022 for greater market penetration. We plan to then take our solutions internationally in 2023 through licensing agreements with international and multi-national partners. We have an independent board member, an experienced international entrepreneur, who started his career with 2 Fortune 100 companies building international expansion for them. He is encouraging the company to pivot internationally in 2023 once significant US market penetration and brand building have been successfully accomplished in 2022.
Thus, the slower and humble beginnings of Propel GPS were intended to first achieve the foundational platform, key partners and critical mass of growth underway with diverse market solutions prior to making a pivot like the company is now doing so there would something of value to move forward with the next wave plan. By pursuing this more efficient capital strategy early, it should allow for greater rewards for the company’s employees, owners, and stakeholders as well as the new “like-minded investment partner”.
Propel GPS wants to be well-positioned as the future of business becomes more IoT connected with more meaningful applications yet to be introduced, says Rick in his view and he wants to “monetize more on data-enabled tracking to feed intelligence to the edge devices, sensors for smarter outcomes”. Largely focused on commercial facing small businesses in the past, Propel GPS is currently pursuing more enterprise type customer, federal opportunities and extending its sales channel partnership programs.
Propel’s growth pipeline contains an array of future innovations around some key areas. For example, the company is working to integrate its wide-area supply chain tracking solution with local area in-building capability to further improve its asset management focus with an even better ROI for its customers. “Our main pursuit is to disrupt the IoT space for better, simpler, and more cost-effective solutions in order to make way for small business and our larger enterprise customers to thrive by utilizing this latest technology”, retorts Rick to any IoT critic and unbeliever of its future potential! According to Rick, the IoT sector and Propel GPS are just getting started as part of its next plan pivot!