ERoad – Latest figures – US expansion

Eroad – September 2017 numbers.

EROAD HALF YEAR 2018 ANNOUNCEMENT AND UPDATE

Integrated technology, and services provider EROAD Limited says it has enjoyed record sales growth in both its foundation New Zealand market and its growing North American market.

Highlights for 6 months to September 2017 and business update

  • Revenue at $20.9 million up by 35% over same period last year
  • EBITDA of $4.0 million during the period underpinned by EBITDA of the New Zealand/Australia business which reached $11.1 million during the period
  • Net Loss before tax $3.7 million, driven by investment in US sales activity
  • Total Contracted Units in New Zealand/Australia 49,802 up by 31% since September 2016
  • Total Contracted Units in North America 9,736 up by over 84% since September 2016
  • Q1 and Q2 of FY18 were both record sales quarters for the New Zealand and North American markets
  • Customer Retention Rate remains strong at 98%
  • Future Contracted Income grew to $75 million during the period up $17m or 29% in 6 months
  • Secured new credit facility from the BNZ totaling $33.4 million for initial term of 12 months with initial drawdown in July 2017. Post September 2017, EROAD has subsequently signed a credit approved facility letter with the BNZ to further extend its facilities by approximately $16 million, to further support expected growth
  • Strong momentum has continued in the business with total contracted units increasing in October 2017 by 1,133 units for the New Zealand/Australia business and 1,166 units for the North American business
  • As part of EROAD’s continuing focus on growth in the US, EROAD has engaged First NZ Capital to undertake a strategic review of its North American business. The review is focused on evaluating options to further capture the compelling growth opportunity in North America.

Operational summary

New Zealand & Australia

EROAD’s New Zealand business enjoyed two record sales quarters during the six months to September 2017, and finished the period with a strong pipeline of demand for the second half of FY18.

Chief Executive Steven Newman said health and safety services, such as driver behaviour, are now as strong a driver of sales as electronic Road User Charges (eRUC) services, which continue to grow well. The company continues to engage with an ever more diverse range of large and small customers as fleet owners and managers begin to appreciate the positive business outcomes that can be achieved by ensuring safety within their businesses.

Mr Newman said, ‘Our customers are improving health and safety thanks to services that support safer driver behaviour. And road planners and policy makers now have high quality network data from the activity of around 50,000 vehicles on our platform. Road transport accounts for around 15% of fuel used in New Zealand, and our customers are achieving, on average, fuel savings of around six per cent, representing a significant cost saving and carbon saving to the economy.’

Mr Newman said he was particularly pleased that two of New Zealand’s leading companies, Fulton Hogan and Waste Management, had invested in new, sophisticated EROAD in-vehicle technology, with ~4,500 Ehubo2 units being installed in their transport fleets to further improve their management of health and safety.

In 2009 EROAD introduced the world’s first nationwide electronic road user charging (eRUC) system in New Zealand. Currently half of all heavy transport RUC is collected electronically, representing a rapid transition to e-commerce on a voluntary, industry-led basis, due to the cost-savings and benefits to customers.

Odoo – Interesting open-source integrated suite of software

Odoo SaaS

I have a friend who has been experimenting with Odoo over the past few weeks and he has been very impressed by its versatility.

In the enterprise resource planning software field, Odoo is an alternative to SAP ERP, Oracle E-Business Suite, Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, and others.

Odoo is an open-source suite of integrated business applications actively programmed, supported, and organized by Odoo SA.

Odoo is similar to many open-source projects where customized programming, support, and other services are provided by an active global community and partners network.

The community is comprised of more than 1,500 active members and has contributed more than 4,500 modules to the ongoing enrichment of Odoo.

The network of certified partners, established in more than 120 countries, deploys the solution locally. The software, with more than 1,500 downloads a day, is one of the most frequently installed business suites worldwide.

Odoo is an open-source alternative to many software packages. It can be used by any retailer with its POS (Point Of Sales), and in any website with its CMS (website builder) synchronized with the e-Commerce app.

User Friendly and Business Scope Quadrant.

Odoo positions itself high as being user friendly and having plenty of business scope but not with the high ticket price of a NetSuite , Ms Dynamics , Oracle or SAP.

 

Cryptopia growing at staggering rate

Christchurch based Cryptocurrency platform shows that it is going through some growing pains – but seems to be coping.

Cryptopia has had explosive growth this year, we’ve gone from 2 full time employees managing 200 coins on 15 servers with 3,000 users and 200 concurrent sessions, to 12 full time employees and a number of contractors managing 550 coins on 50 servers with 250,000 users and 30,000 concurrent sessions. This growth shows no signs of slowing down.

Cryptopia offers a lot of altcoins and some other services, like an online store where you can buy items.

The company also offers New Zealanders a relatively easy access to the world of cryptocurrencies, via its banking service.

While Cryptopia is mainly an exchange, the rest of the functionality is highly integrated. If you are used to dealing with streamlined software, this offer probably wouldn’t be for you. On the other hand, if you like reading through dozens of forum or Reddit posts, you may enjoy the community at Cryptopia.

Here are the pros and cons:

 

Pros Cons
A lot of altcoins available Security concerns in the past
Accepting fiat currency (from NZ) Banking only available to clients from New Zealand
Competitive fees A lot of confirmations required for altcoins (slow deposit times) Poor charting
Forum

Solid State Battery technology – EV Game changer

Electric car-maker Fisker has filed patents for flexible solid-state battery technology that could slash charging times and improve range.

In an announcement this week, the firm claimed ..

the new battery could charge a car in just one minute, and allow for a range of over 500 miles.

The battery is expected to be ready for mass production by 2023, and will be displayed at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January.

With charging speeds like that and ranges of 500 miles sign me up.

 

 

How to Manage a Future of Abundance

The influential economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin looks ahead to a world of virtually free energy and zero marginal cost production, and to a desperate race against climate change.

Most people in the business world are aware of …

(1) the convergence of computer and communications technology,

(2) the shift in energy from fossil fuels to renewables,

and (3) the movement toward self-driving vehicles and robot-driven manufacturing.

But only a few people are thinking intensively about how all these technological changes will fit together — along with changes in advanced manufacturing, water systems, agriculture, healthcare, and education — to generate rapid, widespread growth accompanied by a dramatic reduction in ecological footprint.

This systemic approach to the industrial future is the domain of economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin

He argues, for example, that both capitalism and the fossil fuel industries are hitting limits that stem from the laws of thermodynamics.

Investor-based capitalism, which focuses resources for immediate returns,…

will inevitably be replaced by a more distributed and streamlined network-based capitalism, alongside a sharing economy governed by a high-tech global commons.

According to Rifkin, this new hybrid economic system will be made possible through the provision of solar, wind, and other renewable energy on demand, facilitated by innovations such as the Internet of Things and blockchain.

In the world he envisions, the costs of producing and delivering an increasing array of goods and services will dwindle to near zero, and economies will have to learn to manage abundance — and the use of shared goods and services.

These shifts will happen during the next 40 years or so, he says, unless they are cut short by the exponentially increasing dangers of climate change and species extinction.

Even those who do not agree with Rifkin’s theory that capitalism is in the midst of a fundamental transformation must respect the exponential power of the forces he is tracking.

Intelligent technology, in particular, is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, lowering costs, replacing human labor, tracking human activity, and making many new things possible — which could be the “dark net” of authoritarian surveillance or a broadening of wealth and quality of life.

To read the full interview go to Strategy and Business site here.

RIFKIN: A new technological infrastructure is gradually coming together, brought on by digitization. The process began with the maturation of the communications Internet over the past 25 years.

Now this is converging with a second Internet, this one for renewable energy. It’s a new digital power grid, stretching across continents, which allows millions of people to produce their own wind and solar electricity and send their excess power generation back into the system.

Both of these Internets will converge, during the next decade, with an emerging digitized mobility Internet composed of increasingly autonomous electric and fuel-cell vehicles operated by near-zero marginal cost renewable energy on smart road, rail, water, and air systems.

These three systems will allow people to share communication, energy, and mobility partially in the capitalist market and partially in the emerging sharing economy.

Funding for Australian Smart City projects announced

Australian councils now have more certainty about their future smart cities journey, as the first funded projects under the government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program have been  announced.

Adam Beck, the Executive Director of Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ), has congratulated Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, for the vision and leadership of the program, and its capacity to help catalyse smart cities and digital transformation investment across Australian communities.

“This announcement is welcomed by SCCANZ and its members, who have invested deeply in working closely with local government to help their applications come together in a very short timeframe,”

Mr Beck says.

“The Smart Cities and Suburbs program has been a critical mechanism for accelerating smart cities interest and activity across local government in Australia in 2017, and it is important we maintain the momentum created from the application process to now support the successful candidates in delivering, and scaling, as well as nurturing the potential of those that may be unsuccessful.”

52 projects have been successful in round 1 of the funding, totaling $28.5M, with 40% of the successful projects located in regional areas.

Chair of the SCCANZ Policy and Leadership Task Force and Councillor for Tablelands Regional Council in Queensland, Bronwyn Voyce, said of the announcement “this is great news for regional communities in Australia who are seeking the critical support needed to kick-start their smart cities journey.”

“The Smart Cities and Suburbs program has offered many local government organisations the opportunity to build their vision around smart cities, but now comes the important step of successfully investing, and then replicating and scaling,”

Cr Voyce says.

“The Smart Cities Council looks forward to working with the government to supports its successful delivery of round 1 of the program, and its transition to a longer-term investment fund for national smart cities,”

Mr Beck concludes.