New Zealand-based fleet performance management company EROAD is parking its North American headquarters in San Diego.
“It was an easy decision when we looked at how we want to grow in North America,” said Akinyemi Koyi, chief innovation officer and president of EROAD North America.
Koyi cited San Diego’s history as the place where “Qualcomm gave birth to the whole telematics space many, many years ago,” as a prime motivation for the company to relocate its North American headquarters from Portland, Oregon to America’s Finest City. Telematics combines telecommunications and information processing to monitor cars, trucks, equipment and other assets with GPS and on-board diagnostics technologies.
EROAD’s telematics is a cloud native management solution with an IoT platform that “helps empower customers to digitize an appropriate efficiency of their operations,” Koyi said, adding that in addition to helping customers more efficiently deliver goods, the platform also offers a health, safety, tax and government compliance solutions.
Growth in Enterprise Space
Prior to becoming the company’s North American headquarters, EROAD’s San Diego operation was “mostly warehouse,” Koyi said. The company is now expanding the warehouse and creating an “operations hub” with engineering, R&D, sales and marketing “that brings key pieces together to deliver for our customers.”
The move to San Diego comes at a time when EROAD is experiencing “solid growth in the enterprise space” with a growing client base of mid- and large-size enterprise companies, Koyi said.
EROAD’s customers are mostly within the transportation, cold chain and construction segments. Key customers include Irvine-based companies Quality Custom Distribution and Golden State Foods, Birmingham, Alabama-based Vulcan Materials Company and Beloit, Wisconsin-based ABC Supply Co. Inc.
The company is also currently implementing its solution into 9,000 assets in partnership with a recent customer – Houston-based wholesale restaurant food distributor Sysco. EROAD’s North America nearly doubled its year-over-year revenue in FY2023 that ended in March, bringing in $72.6 million compared to $40.3 million in 2022.
“To achieve that level of growth and sustain it, it is important that we have the infrastructure required, so the San Diego office helps us have a clear hub where we can all come together and get things done in more efficient way,” he said.
Large Talent Pool
To ensure that efficiency, EROAD has been building out its San Diego workforce. During the COVID pandemic, the company’s San Diego operation had 20 employees; it currently has around 30 and is aiming to be 40 employees, representing 30% to 40% of its entire North America operation, Koyi said.
Along with the move to San Diego, EROAD also added to its leadership team with three key hires. Executive Vice President of Finance Tracey Herman comes to EROAD after serving as chief financial officer at San Diego-based Coretex, a telematics company EROAD acquired in 2021.
EROAD also added two remote hires: Kerynn Holtzman, vice president of operations, and Sarah Wicker, vice president of marketing. Holtzman held previous roles at IBM, OPIS and most recently at Herndon, Virginia-based SkyBitz. Wicker’s experience in the technology and telematics space includes prior roles at Verizon Connect and San Diego-based Lytx.She currently resides in North Carolina.
For staffing up locally, Koyi said the move to San Diego gives EROAD an advantage in hiring and cited the region’s academic institutions like San Diego State University, UC San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University, which all have undergraduate programs in engineering, data science and emerging fields like AI. He added that large tech firms like Apple that are setting up presences here also “validates” the region.
“Being surrounded with very experienced talent in this industry provides a very rich environment for innovation,” he said. “Our view is the talent pool, the location and the ease of doing business here allows us to keep powering through our strategy.”
CEO: Mark Heine
Headquarters: Auckland, New Zealand
Stock: ERD (ASX and NZX)
Revenue: $72.6 million (FY2023)
Employees: 650+ worldwide
Notable: In April 2014, EROAD commercially launched in the U.S. becoming the first approved electronic Weight-Mile Tax (WMT) service provider in North America.