Spire

‘If DHL are flying packages from China, why can’t we get a tow truck across the city efficiently?'

More than 330 million roadside incidents and call-outs every year make the vehicle recovery market worth more than €7 billion, but one that needs modern technology to optimise service delivery by small and medium operators.

Founded by Ken Morgan and Kim McKayed, Spire is a critical incident management system, built in modules to ultimately expand across the insurance claims handling sector.

The company impressed NDRC through 2019, originally securing investment in the first half of the year before attracting seed round funding towards the end of the second-half. Originating from Morgan’s role as CEO of cartow.ie, a recovery company operating in Ireland, Spire’s solution grew out of a need to scale up businesses that ultimately only ran smoothly in small scenarios. The cost to scale up was prohibitive, with legacy systems satisfying nobody.

Morgan spotted an opportunity and, after visiting larger outfits in the UK, saw a market to sell software into. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.

“The idea was to open a large call centre and exploit economies of scale,” he said of his cartow.ie past, with a merge between two businesses revealing the difficulty facing the entire industry. “When we did centralise, the larger company became more inefficient as the domain knowledge people had moved up and were no longer running the operations. It took ages to train staff up, there was a high churn and a downward impact across the business. I saw the same thing happening in the UK and I just wondered, ‘If DHL are flying packages from China, why can’t we get a tow truck across the city efficiently?”

With that Spire’s software solution grew and improved things like time, routes, responses etc. There were savings on fuel, staff, tolls and more. Pretty soon, the tow company wasn’t necessarily what was scalable, the software was.

“We developed the ‘last mile logistics platform’, used APIs, put in greater, deep information for recovery scenarios. We got it up and running over a year, and the first month we launched the average job turnaround time went from 90mins to 75 mins. We also increased average job values by €5. If you extrapolate that over a UK business which might well do 100,000 jobs a year, the time savings are worth 25,000 job hours. Altogether it’s £1.2 million saved a year.”

It was this progression that appealed to NDRC and, since, many more, with further investment on the way and a growing customer base bringing a fine 2020 and 2021 into focus.