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March 27, 2019 1:15 PM, EDT

I.D. Systems Acquires Pointer Telocation for $140 Million

Pointer telocation screen A Pointer Telocation screen. (Pointer Telocation via YouTube)

I.D. Systems Inc., a New Jersey-based tracking technology company, has acquired Pointer Telocation Ltd., an Israeli provider of telematics and mobile internet of things services, in a $140 million deal, the companies report.

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The newly formed company will rebrand as PowerFleet when the paperwork is finalized, according to a joint news release.

There will be three new PowerFleet divisions: logistics, industrial and automotive. Customers will range from pharmaceutical shippers, trucking companies and automobile rental firms, according to company officials.

Pointer telocation screen

A Pointer Telocation screen. (Pointer Telocation via YouTube)

Pointer, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, supplies telematics and mobile IoT solutions to the automotive, insurance and logistics industries. The company has a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform, which has more than 275,000 monthly subscribers.

With Pointer, I.D. Systems will have more than 500,000 subscribers. And within another 12 months, PowerFleet should have more than 600,000 subscribers, says Craig Montgomery, I.D. Systems chief marketing officer.

“And that puts us in very unique company,” said Montgomery, adding few global telematics and IoT companies have that many subscribers.

Craig Montgomery

Montgomery

Montgomery, speaking to Transport Topics, said the new company will be vertically integrated, meaning PowerFleet will be able to be a “single source,” supplying clients monitoring-and-communications software and equipment related to electronic logging, trailer and cargo tracking, temperature data and more.

Pointer and I.D. Systems had done business together for about two years, said Montgomery, with the two companies being very similar. But the purchase of Pointer will allow I.D. Systems to have even greater control and command of the manufacture and creation of its products, said Montgomery.

Both companies have used IoT technology to enhance hauling and allow companies to track their assets and cargo. IoT takes advantage of the growing number of sensors that can be incorporated in various places, from cabs to trailers to tires to refrigerated trailers. The capabilities and potential have grown not just because of mobile and internet data, but the growing use of Bluetooth technology, according to Montgomery. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows devices to communicate with each other, over short distances.

Pointer Telocation logo

The IoT sensors send data back to the companies at any one time, according to Norman Thomas, general manager of the Logistics Visibility Group of I.D. Systems, a division based in Plano, Texas. The data include more than just standard geolocations, said Thomas.

Much freight is temperature-sensitive (like food) and other freight is shock- or bump-sensitive (like computer components). IoT allows shippers and freight companies to notice a bump in the road or go back and see when temperatures shifted, Thomas said.

Such data are crucial to industry, said Montgomery. The global pharmaceutical industry alone loses $35 billion a year because of damage caused to cargo caused by temperatures, Montgomery said.

I.D. Systems logo

Pointer’s technology extracts data from an organization’s mobility points, including drivers, routes, points of interest, logistics network, vehicles, trailers, containers and cargo, according to I.D. Systems. Pointer’s platform then analyzes and converts this data into actionable intelligence.

Pointer’s technology is currently deployed in approximately 3 million light and heavy commercial vehicles across 80 countries, the companies said.

I.D. Systems is headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., with subsidiaries in Texas, Florida, Germany and the United Kingdom.