How the need to help daily drivers turned into a global business
You’ve probably heard many successful business stories that started in a garage, such as Apple, Amazon, Google. This is probably the perfect place to replace proper office space for startups. It was a necessary workplace for creators of innovative automotive solutions – Voltas IT.
The company has been developing and perfecting its automotive diagnostic device called OBDeleven, helping daily drivers to save their time and money on vehicle diagnostics and customizations. Voltas IT story started when a team of two automotive engineers and a software developer gathered to solve the complexity and high cost of car diagnostics.
Voltas IT has one product – a small Bluetooth device OBDeleven available in two different options: First Gen supports only VAG group vehicles and is compatible with Android devices and Next Gen supports VAG and BMW group vehicles and is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
The newest introduced functionality is the easy coding possibilities for BMW drivers, which will allow them to save time while taking care of their cars.
Best business opportunity – solve customer’s problems
After 10 years of work in authorized services, in 2014 Voltas IT founders established a car electronics repair shop. In order to serve their customers more conveniently, they figured out how to use Bluetooth wireless technology to “talk” to the car’s control units via a smartphone instead of a diagnostic computer. This is how the OBDeleven was developed, making work not only more convenient but also faster.
“The need to develop such a solution was a natural course for us, as we simply wanted to make processes more efficient and reliable when adapting and retrofitting parts on second-hand cars. This small Bluetooth device allowed us to perform full diagnostics and activate new features, as well as adapt new vehicle parts or monitor car systems quickly and comfortably,” shared Edvardas Astrauskas, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Voltas IT.
“While we exclusively used it at first, we later understood the value that it could bring to others as well, so we decided to give it to our potential customer hands allowing them to do the work by themselves,” added Astrauskas.
The device has rapidly grown its popularity among car enthusiasts, who were recommending it to teach other on automotive forums and Youtube video reviews. Together with product popularity, the company started growing rapidly also. As a result Voltas IT was rewardedas the fastest-growing technology company in Central Europe in 2019 at Deloitte Technology FAST 50.
Today OBDeleven already has more than 2 Million vehicle connected to it. Everyday a thousand new users downloads the application.
Offer an exceptional product
To be successful in the global market, it is not enough to offer a new product, it must be truly exceptional and bring value to the customers.
While a lot of scanners on the market offer simple diagnostics functions, OBDeleven in addition to easily accessible dealership-level diagnostics also offers pre-made coding functions – called One-Click Apps. They help users to enable or disable various features on their cars eliminating the need for advanced automotive knowledge and saving their time and money on vehicle customizations.
These pre-programmed functions act as a simple solution for those who have no time, interest, or even knowledge about coding within a vehicle and improve a car at a moment’s notice by enabling various hidden features, or disabling something that might annoy a driver, such as the Auto Start/Stop function.
Whether that would be retrofitting aftermarket parts, such as parking sensors, and cruise control, customizing the look of the car by changing light flickering, or the theme of the cockpit, or fine-tuning the performance by adjusting the electronic differential lock, everything can be done with One-Click Apps.
Another primary selling point of OBDeleven is that the device fits in a user’s pocket easily, meaning the functionality of professional software can be carried around everywhere.
“Developing the device which could replace bulky and complex equipment we had to face some challenges while combining the custom manufacturing design solutions and outstanding software functionality into a user-friendly and high-quality small gadget, “- added Astrauskas.
First generation of the product was manufactured in China and supported just Android devices and Volkswagen Group vehicles, as customer began requesting for more operational system support and more car brands to be added to the supported vehicle list, the Next generation OBDeleven was developed in Lithuania, following the highest manufacturing standarts and able to fulfill the more customer needs.
OBDeleven device was recognized as one of the leading designs at the “European Product Design Award” 2020 as well as has been granted Silver at A’ Design Award competition in Automotive Accessories.
Quality is a priority
In order to provide the best quality and access the latest manufacturers’ car data Voltas IT signed the official agreement with Volkswagen AG Worldwide and BMW North America.
“It was a long process and required a lot of documentation. But it was worth it. For example, when Volkswagen AG introduced new security changes restricting access to the newest models. We were able to receive these requirements from the manufacturers, and by fulfilling them OBDeleven became the first Third-party diagnostic tool that allows access to the latest Volkswagen Group models” – commented the CEO.
To maintain the innovative software, it is important not just to keep up-to the latest technology, but also to adapt to changing customer needs by continuously improving the product.
“Customers are our quality judges and valuable critics. Once we started getting a lot of requests and feedback from them, we decided to create an OBDeleven dedicated forum where more than 40 000 enthusiasts now discuss with each other and fills-out the product development requests, that we collect and try to fulfill accordingly to our possibilities,”- shares Astrauskas.
Market trends and company estimations for 2023
OBDeleven is active in all global markets, but the main markets are the United Kingdom, United States, and Germany, as there is the biggest concentration of supported models. The company also sees that the Central Europe market is also growing quickly.
Speaking about market trends – the automotive OBD Dongle Market tends to continue growing, the estimated growth rate is 15.65% worldwide and 30% in North America.
Voltas IT noticed that during the pandemic device has grown its popularity because people were looking for a DIY alternative for car services, that would let to understand what is going on with their cars or activate some necessary features without having to leave home.
“We are working on constant product development and introducing new features and functionalities for OBDeleven current users. Our community is very active and engaged, they share their requests for new features or pre-made coding applications on our dedicated Forum and we are working to fulfill those needs” – shares representatives.
This year company’s R&D team will work on investigating other useful features for daily drivers and more car brands that could be supported by OBDeleven.
Keep everyone motivated
Happy customers are a result of a motivated team behind the product. Perhaps the secret of Voltas IT success is the fact that the three founders are always present in the automotive industry, working on cars throughout their careers. And even today, when the company has more than 70 employees, the founders are working on innovative automotive solutions together with the team.
“Our vision is to develop innovative automotive technologies and reveal the ultimate possibilities of the vehicle with an ambition to support all car brands and become #1 in the automotive software industry, that’s why it is a must to have official licenses and earn trust in the industry” shared Edvardas Astrauskas, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Voltas IT.
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