20 years of innovation:
The making of an industry-leading tracking solution
The story of Trusted A/S is the story of the small start-up company that made it. While growth and market-leading solutions are both present and future, we are proud of our more modest beginnings, operating from the side wing of a small house in the Danish countryside.
To celebrate the past 20 years of technical curiosity and innovation, we invite you to take a look back in time to when the company with VAT number DK-25106792 was founded on December 1, 1999.
Trusted A/S was founded by current Technical Director, Christiane Nico Jensen-Haarup, in the fall of 1999. With a background in electronic engineering in the security industry, Nico decided to continue as a self-employed freelance developer. The step was taken on December 1, 1999, when the new company was founded under the name Key7.
In the humble beginnings – the side wing of Nico’s father’s house in Kragelund, a small village in the middle of Jutland – the company soon received plenty of projects in the security sector. In fact, it soon became difficult to manage all the projects alone.
By July 1, 2000, hardware engineer Jørgen Brandt-Larsen joined the company. The two engineers knew each other through a common interest in radio technology, and Nico had already noticed that Jørgen had engineering skills out of the ordinary. In the new company set-up, Jørgen handled all the hardware development while Nico managed the technical parts, customer contact, purchases, and even the cleaning of the office.
Innovative products secured early success
After a year, they developed their first product: a standard keypad for the security industry. Promoting the product on an exhibition in nearby city Herning created a lot of attention and they soon managed to establish commitments with different distributors, becoming the security industry’s preferred producer of keypads on the Danish market at the time.
In the years after the development of the first Key7 product, the growth of the company was exponential. An important force behind this growth was the winning of a tender from EDC, a major realtor in Denmark. This was a big success for the small company as they were up against much larger competitors.
The tender was for a remote-control system for rental houses, and the project meant that the company’s revenue and number of employees increased. Even though EDC in the end did not manage to implement the system, the project provided the economical basis for developing new products. This also meant that facilities at Kragelund became too small, and in 2004 the company moved to Silkeborg on Bavnehøjvej.
Changing the business of GPS tracking
One day at the office in 2009, a random advertising mail from a sender in China caught interest. The product in question was a GPS tracking device, and thinking it was an interesting product, Nico and Jørgen decided to invest in a few devices. This incidentally served as the beginning of selling tracking devices in the company.
Key7 became distributers of a tracking solution that included both the actual devices and the added feature of a website service where devices could be located on a map. However, being inventive and curious engineers, Nico and Jørgen soon went on to plan the development of their own tracking device. Ambitiously, they set out to create an entirely new product: a battery-driven tracking device with longer battery life than anything currently on the market.
Later in 2009, the company could introduce its first tracking device developed in house: the T2. It was a small device with a battery that could last for several years – something nobody had believed could be designed and a great engineering accomplishment. The T2 product quickly became a success and the foundation for even more flourishing customer relations.
An important next step into the world of tracking was the challenge set in 2012 by Savannah Tracking. Recognizing that the Key7 tracker was the best on the market, they contacted the company to develop devices to track endangered wildlife in Africa. Besides being an exciting project for a good purpose, the wildlife project pushed the tracking device to develop into an even more flexible, robust and durable product, proving in the process to be more than capable to withstand challenges across all industries.
Boost in manpower and technology
With the success within the tracking industry, a number of changes were made within the company during these years. Firstly, larger premises were once again needed in 2013 and offices moved to Randersvej in Silkeborg. Secondly, in the spring of 2014, the company decided to rename itself Trusted A/S to reflect the change to a new industry.
In the autumn of 2014, the local equity fund Insero Horsens made an investment in Trusted. This provided both a boost in the budget along with a boost in technology, as key employees were added to focus more on software and sales.
The introduction of a dedicated software solution released the potential of the tracking device. It enabled the creation of a complete tracking solution of top quality in both hardware and software – an innovative product which still marks the basis for Trusted’s services today.
International focus and growth
Encouraged by the possibility of establishing an industry-leading tracking solution, priorities and strategies became more ambitious. Focus shifted from a primarily national to an international focus centered around core segments in rental, asset management and, noticeably, theft protection.
In February 2016, Niels Henrik Olesen entered as CEO at Trusted from a background as electronics engineer, software developer and manager. With the new CEO in place, the current structure along with control of the economy and the continuous focus on growth were consolidated.
Finally, almost symbolic for a matured and settled company ready to take on the world, Trusted later in 2016 introduced the S1 Iridium™ device with pole-to-pole satellite tracking, making the product line truly global.
Consolidation on the big scene
Along with a continuous drive to optimize the product line, recent years have seen an ambitious international focus on sales. Customers, partnerships and flourishing distributor agreements in Europe and in the US have already been established.
It has been a strategy that has set the company on an impressive run of years with continuous economic growth.
The positive developments and the ambition to optimize and modernize businesses across industries, across the globe, has also meant that Trusted more than doubled the number of employees and has moved to even larger facilities on Glarmestervej in Silkeborg.
Looking to the future
While much has changed since the humble beginnings in the side wing of the small country house in Kragelund, Nico and Jørgen are still in charge of hardware development at Trusted.
The setup might be much bigger now, but the underlying motivation remains the same: to solve the concrete challenges of our customers with the quality and technical ingenuity that have characterized us from the beginning.
It is a motivation that spreads across the company from the development of intelligent software solutions to the work of a dedicated sales team and the leadership in the CEO’s office.
Our industry-leading tracking solution and the international success emboldens us with the belief that Trusted will see continued success in key segments and globally, as we push on towards the business challenges of a modern world.
The future of Trusted A/S therefore looks bright, and we look forward to the next 20 years.
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