Tech Innovators 2013: Route Monkey

Everyone has a green hat of sorts on these days, and Scottish venture Route Monkey is hoping to make the most of those in the commercial haulage industry.

To follow on from our maiden Tech Invest event, we’ve profiled some of the most exciting technology companies in the UK.

See also: 23 of the best Tech Innovators – profiles of some of the best technology ventures in the UK and their founding entrepreneurs.

Route Monkey


Based in: Livingston

Founded in: 2006

No. of employees: 30

Company founder: Colin Ferguson

Founder profile:

A former transport operator and CPC-holder, Colin Ferguson established Route Monkey after identifying a need for route optimisation software, based on the fact that 95 per cent of fleets do not utilise this technology and are looking for ways to drive down costs.

Background business profile:

Route Monkey provides comprehensive scheduling and routing software services, for conventional commercial vehicle fleets and for electric vehicles. Route Monkey’s products deliver combined savings of up to 20 per cent for a wide range of clients, by lowering fuel bills, increasing vehicle utilisation and reducing the fleet management time burden.

Inside track:

A career spent in the transport industry alerted Colin Ferguson to the gap in the market that Route Monkey is now trying to fill.

The now seven year-old business is packaged up as a scheduling and routing software offering aimed at the 95 per cent of fleets which Ferguson says to do not employ a scheduling system.

While Ferguson had the knowledge, he has needed to bring in technical expertise to build the algorithm which powers the business.

‘The unique selling point we have is that we developed an electronic vehicle algorithm,’ Ferguson explains, ‘and that solves a different problem.
‘That is the next step: saying wait a minute, people will be using electric vehicles but will not be able to switch out a whole fleet.’
A £1 million investment (split over two rounds) from the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund is fuelling the business currently, but Ferguson has earmarked 2014 as the year that further capital will be brought in.

‘We want to make our product available to the SME market by ensuring that it is an affordable SaaS offering – that for us is the 95 per cen,’ he adds.

‘Most of the clients we are now selling our product to we are deploying on the cloud. The biggest challenge is convincing them to use it in the first place when they have always planned manually.

‘The reverse analogy is that you could continue to do your accounts in a red book using a calculator, but why would you do that.’

With fleet operators putting an increased emphasis on making sure that operations are run on a tight a budget as possible, Route Monkey is well placed to provide a software package which will be widely in demand.

Recent milestones:

  • £1 million UK government investment via technology funds
  • Launch of the UK’s first electric vehicle optimisation software
  • Partnership with Nokia Here on mapping technology
  • Retailer Iceland rolling out Route Monkey across all 800 UK stores

Upcoming milestones:

  • Further planned investment in 2014 from existing investor
  • Launching ‘on demand’ version of Route Monkey software online
  • Partnership with vehicle manufacturer and lease company
  • Government funding and grant assistance for fleets

Recent technology:

Route Monkey has recently introduced its routing and scheduling package via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. The monthly subscription fee is less than the savings generated by the technology, delivering instant ROI to customers.


  • TomTom
  • Motorola
  • Nokia Here
  • Partner in Optimised Waste Logistics (OWL) programme
  • Partner in DfT/TfL’s Plugged-In Fleets Initiative (PiFi 100)
  • Industry partner in Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence Programme
  • Cooper Parry Ltd (Route Monkey reseller)
  • Inosat (Route Monkey reseller)


  • Finance for North East Technology Fund (UK government fund administered by IP Group)

Related: 25 of the most exciting fast growing technology companies in the UK

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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