Kaveri Marathe
June 22, 2016

Ordering take-out or a package for delivery can sometimes feel like a leap of faith: you cannot be 100 percent sure it is actually going to arrive. Overdrive—a driving analytics app—aims to address this information blind spot with data.

Overdrive is an Internet of things (IoT) platform that gathers data, like engine diagnostics, driving behavior and location, from vehicular fleets for the transportation, logistics and automobile industries.

By installing a small device into a vehicle’s diagnostic port—which already exists on most sedans manufactured after 1996—a fleet manager can remotely monitor an individual vehicle’s activities and condition through a mobile app.

This type of technology is useful for a host of reasons, from maintaining vehicle standards to ensuring quality service.

“One of our customers was involved in an insurance dispute because goods they delivered turned out to be damaged; so from our system they pulled data showing that, in transit, the driver was adhering to normal driving behaviors and they managed to mitigate that case,” said co-founder Zen Chin.

Overdrive’s clients include car rental and leasing companies, cold trucks delivering food and logistics companies.

Overdrive was spun-off from an older web development company about a year ago. They currently operate in Singapore and Malaysia but aim to expand more widely into Asia.

“Singapore is a very small market. If you’re in the IT industry, you cannot disregard being a player in the international market,” Chin explained. “From the start we really prepared ourselves in terms of product design, our offerings and many other areas, to be a global or international business.”

As they expand, Chin said he foresees the biggest challenge being the localization of his product to individual countries in Asia. “You need to prepare properly to convey your message accurately, especially the dissemination of information and how you package different information,” he said.

His insight for entrepreneurs thinking of expanding internationally?

“With the design of your services or product, you cannot ignore the global market. You may use your local market as a testbed, but if you’re confident enough, you can straightaway target your product into major markets.”

Zen Chin