Equipment Type

Uptake Technologies and Cat Renegotiate Partnership

IoT startup's growth spurs changes

November 16, 2017

Crain's Chicago reports Uptake Technologies and Caterpillar are extending their partnership under new terms that benefit each company by uncoupling some of their dealings.

Uptake develops predictive analytics platforms that analyze data to predict and prevent future failures in equipment in construction, healthcare, insurance, locomotives, manufacturing, and other industries. The Chicago-based company was co-founded by Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky with financial support from Caterpillar in 2015.

At that time, the agreement between the two companies included exclusive conditions that dictated whether Uptake could go after business with Caterpillar competitors.

Under the renegotiated agreement, Caterpillar will remain a customer but no longer hold a financial stake in Uptake. Uptake is now free to pursue business with Caterpillar competitors in industries beyond the construction equipment market.

"Uptake has grown significantly across industries, and the scale and scope of our expansion warranted the realignment of our relationship with Caterpillar," says Keywell, CEO of Uptake.  Uptake began with 100 employees and has grown to now employ 800 people.

The agreement has Caterpillar taking back control of a software product for its heavy-equipment dealers that allows customers to monitor equipment in the field. Armed with that data, fleet and equipment managers can schedule predictive maintenance instead of repairing a vehicle that has broken down on a job site.

"It lets us pursue a number of markets directly, such as mining, construction, oil and gas, and marine," said Greg Goff, Uptake's chief product officer, in the Crain's report. "It also lets us address the idea of objectivity to the market."

Caterpillar is also taking back control of Symphony, a software platform designed to pull operational, financial and sales data from dealers.

Uptake will transition control to Caterpillar over the next several months, according to an internal Caterpillar memo sent out Nov. 13 and obtained by Crain's.

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