Tusker

  • Sector: Automotive / technology
  • First Invested: February 2000
  • Total Invested: £3.7m
  • Status: Exited

Tusker was founded in 2000 as a revolutionary provider for the corporate fleet lease industry. Based on cutting edge technology it aimed to take fleet management online, decreasing cost and increasing the overall level of customer satisfaction in a traditionally slow to modernise industry.

Initially it was tough to convince fleet managers in a sometimes conservative industry to switch to Tusker, and so growth was slower than expected. With our ability to take a truly long term perspective, and our belief in the real value of Tusker’s offer, we bought out three other institutional shareholders and invested further capital to enable Tusker to improve its products and services still further.

In the past three years the business has developed a completely new product and become a market leader in its provision. SalarySacrifice4Cars (SS4C) is an award winning product that enables an employer to offer cars to their employees with little administration and no risk whilst reducing the overall carbon impact of the business. Individuals sacrifice part of their salary for a car which is very tax efficient, with both the employer saving money and employee getting the keys to brand new hassle free car at prices significantly below the high street. As fuel efficient cars are significantly cheaper on the scheme there is a strong trend towards green cars.

SalarySacrifice4Cars is taking the market by storm and Tusker remains the undisputed market leader in this very fast growing segment, despite competition from much larger competitors. This is down to a top quality management team operating off a technical base which continues to be far ahead of those competitors.

This new growth has also brought new challenges. For the first time the business needs to sell its product direct to consumers, which is a major step change from their traditional B2B model. We have helped with customer research and insight, the recruitment of a dedicated B2C marketer and a major project to revamp the brand and optimise customer conversion.

We and the management have recently appointed Sir Trevor Chinn, a leading figure in the automotive industry and the ex Chairman and CEO of one of Europe’s largest fleet leasing companies, as the Chairman of Tusker to strengthen further the board as the business scales rapidly. Sir Trevor was also Chairman of ITIS, a previous Smedvig Capital investment.

The SS4C fleet has tripled in the last year alone, and Tusker now has a clear target to reach 20,000 cars on fleet in the medium term.

Smedvig Capital sold Tusker to ECI Partners in February 2015 for an undisclosed sum.