North East Venture Fund

New fleet software aids transition to electric vehicles

Founders Sarah and Colin Ferguson, centre, with sales director Robert Goldwater, left, and Ian Wilson of Mercia, right

A Newcastle start-up with a new fleet management software designed with electric vehicles in mind has secured a £500,000 investment from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.

The Algorithm People helps hauliers, fleet operators and final mile delivery companies  cut costs and emissions by planning routes more efficiently. Its platform, My Transport Planner, can also account for electric vehicles, factoring in their limited range to show organisations how best to deploy them within their fleet.

The investment will enable The Algorithm People to accelerate its development of a new ‘pay as you go’ option, making this type of optimisation technology accessible to smaller firms.

The Algorithm People was launched in April by Colin and Sarah Ferguson, who pioneered the use of algorithms in the fleet sector with their last company Route Monkey, which they sold in 2015. The investment will enable them to further develop the platform and build their management, sales and marketing team, creating 13 new jobs initially.

Colin Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer of The Algorithm People comments: “With growing fears over air pollution and climate change, fleet managers are under pressure to reduce emissions and fuel use. Electric vehicles are an ideal way to achieve this; but their use requires careful planning. My Transport Planner shows them how to achieve maximum return on investment and reduce costs throughout the wider fleet. We look forward to working with Mercia and the NEVF to help us further develop the product and execute our growth plans.”

Ian Wilson, Fund Principal with Mercia, added: “Algorithm People is led by a highly experienced team who have spotted a gap in the market. My Transport Planner will help operators to make the transition to electric vehicles and open the market up to smaller businesses who do not currently use this type of software. This investment will allow the team to put their plans into action and drive sales.”

Ward Hadaway provided legal advice to the NEVF, while Gillespie MacAndrew advised the company.

The NEVF can invest up to £1.0million for firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start enterprises.