VC Backing for Celtrak

14th August 2005

Celtrak, a small Galway firm that has developed vehicle tracking technology, has raised €1.2 million from investors.

Enterprise Equity, the venture capital firm that invests in companies in the regions outside Dublin, led the investment, putting €600,000 into Celtrak.

Rory Hynes, an investment executive with Enterprise Equity, has joined the board of Celtrak after the investment.

Joe McBreen, the founder of Celtrak, invested €345,600 in the firm, while Frank Clancy, one of the company’s directors, invested €134,400. The remaining €120,000 came from Enterprise Ireland , the state agency that supports indigenous firms.

The investment was made in May this year, according to filings at the Companies Registration Office (CRO) in Dublin. It brings total investment in Celtrak to about €2.2 million since it was founded in 1999. ICC Venture Capital is also an investor in the firm.

customers include Volvo, BMW and Mercedes,

Celtrak’s products use global positioning system (GPS) and wireless technology to monitor the movement of vehicles and machinery over the internet. The technology is used by insurance companies to monitor young drivers, but also has applications in security and tolling.

One of Celtrak’s main customers in Axa Insurance, which has installed about 2,000 Celtrak systems to monitor the speed of young drivers.

If they obey the speed limits, they get a reduction on their insurance premium. Celtrak recently signed a similar deal with an insurer in Britain.

The company’s most recent accounts show that it made a small profit in the financial year to the end of March 2004.

Turnover is not disclosed in the accounts, which show Celtrak had an accumulated loss of just over €850,000 at the end of the year.

The directors of Celtrak are McBreen, Clancy and Anne Bannon of ICC, while Paul Leufer is company secretary.McBreen is also the founder and majority shareholder in Connaught Electronics, which employs about 250 people making technical products for the motor industry.

Its customers include Volvo, BMW and Mercedes, as well as several motor parts firms.

Connaught Electronics made a pre-tax profit of almost €2 million on turnover of €35.8 million in 2003, according to its most recent accounts.According to the accounts, “the directors are satisfied with the performance during 2003 and expect similar results in 2004’‘.

McBreen and Clancy are also the main shareholders in Hi-Key, a patent holding company for Celtrak and Connaught Electronics.

In 2003, Hi-Key received royalties of almost €300,000 from Celtrak and just over €1 million from Connaught Electronics. The directors of Hi-Key were paid more than €560,000 in dividends that year.

14 August 2005 – Sunday Business Post