Practical Founders Podcast

#11: Bootstrapped to Exit in 6 Years Against Funded Competitors – Sean Meister of M2M in Motion

Sean Meister was a sales professional and leader with a successful career selling hospital and medical supplies before he left to join his long-time friend who had a vision for a new software company serving smaller trucking fleets with simple GPS-tracking fleet management software.

Sean was a co-founder and COO of M2M in Motion, a self-funded software company based in the Chicago area. Sean wasn’t the trucking industry expert, the crazy entrepreneur, or the visionary salesperson. He provided the savvy help to get the company started and the operational leadership to build a scalable sales team, reliable product development, and quality customer operations.

M2M in Motion bootstrapped with founder funding, then customer funding (revenue), to grow to over $5M in revenues before being acquired in 2021 by a larger vehicle telematics company, AAMP Global. M2M in Motion allowed small and mid-sized fleets to track their vehicles with a simple software solution and GPS-tracking devices.

“One reason we were successful is that we identified our ideal customer profile early, and we owned it, and then we really targeted that. In the beginning, you’re just so desperate for anything, that you don’t realize you’re actually hurting yourself,” Sean says. 

“I think that was a big lesson for us. When you can start saying NO is when your trajectory starts taking off.”

In this episode, Sean explains:

  • Why he quit his successful sales career to join his long-time friend who had an idea for a software startup in the transportation technology industry
  • How long it took to get to breakeven revenue after spending their personal savings to get the company started
  • How the US “ELD” government trucking safety mandate helped them grow fast
  • How they introduced device financing to bundle the GPS-tracking hardware and software for a simple monthly fee
  • How they successfully competed in a very active, well-funded industry as a small, bootstrapped company by keeping things simple and narrowing their focus
  • How their multi-channel growth strategy included “white-labeling” their software to strategic reseller partners and how one of those relationships led to their acquisition

M2M in Motion Company Facts

  • Founded: 2015
  • Software Type: Fleet management software using GPS tracking hardware for smaller and mid-sized trucking and transport companies
  • Funding: Bootstrapped with savings and then customer-funded with revenues until exit
  • Acquisition: M2M in Motion was acquired in 2021 by AAMP Global, a large vehicle technology company
  • Number of Employees: 15 employees
  • Location: suburbs of Chicago, Illinois


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Greg Head recorded this on episode on September 2, 2022 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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