When Trak Global Group acquired Waterloo’s Intelligent Mechatronic Systems last December, rescuing it from receivership, the new owners made it clear then they had big plans in store for their new entity.
The shape of those plans began to emerge today, as Trak Global announced a US$50-million investment from London, UK-based Three Hills Capital Partners.
The infusion of cash is certain to have a positive impact on IMS, which makes technology that tracks data generated by vehicles, data that is valuable to insurance companies.
“Acquiring IMS was a major catalyst in our decision to raise an investment, and accordingly it will benefit significantly from it,” Andrew Brown-Allan, Trak Global’s Group Marketing & Propositions Director, told Communitech News.
“Post-acquisition, the scale of the North American commercial opportunity became apparent to us very quickly, and we took the decision to take in growth capital in order to accelerate our ambitions to exponentially increase our market share in Canada and the U.S.”
Three Hills will acquire “a significant minority stake” in Trak Global, whose CEO, Nick Corrie, said last December that the company wanted to boost the employee count at IMS from 65 to 100 “within six months.”
“Almost certainly [there will be] more jobs locally – we’re just not at the point yet where we have a specific incremental headcount plan to disclose,” said Brown-Allen. “We intend to deploy our capital strategically and ensure that our growing Waterloo team has an extremely strong, stable, sustainable base from which to deliver solutions for our world-class customer portfolio, whilst developing stimulating and rewarding careers with us.”
Asked specifically how much of the new money would flow to the Waterloo operation, Brown-Allen declined to be specific, but the company has made it clear that Trak Global increasingly views IMS’s products as core to its current business and future plans, stating in its release that “IMS [is] now the lead brand for the Group’s international business activities within the insurance market.”
IMS was founded in 1999 by University of Waterloo professor Otman Basir.
“We’re not at the stage where we’re able to talk specific budgetary allocations, but we are very clear that access to the talent pool and tech community in the Waterloo area is a great asset for IMS,” Brown-Allen said, “and we remain committed to playing a key role as an employer of choice in the local area, both for our existing team and anyone that wants to join us for an exciting next chapter in the company’s story.”
Trak Global’s customers include Volkswagen Financial Services, Nationwide Insurance (USA), Allianz, Europcar and Zipcar.