From bootstrapped to exit, Kansas City citation solutions platform TicketRX on Monday announced its sale to an Overland Park fintech company with global reach.
“I’m excited to bring our mobile, AI-driven technology under the MSTS umbrella,” said Bryan Shannon, TicketRX founder and CEO. “MSTS’s long history and leadership experience in the transportation industry will ensure we keep drivers on the road with less hassle.”
Financial information surrounding the acquisition was not disclosed due to the working relationship between Shannon and MSTS, he said.
Focused on trucks, TicketRX is a mobile app that simplifies the citation process for out-of-state commercial drivers, pairing them with attorneys in the regions where a violation occurred.
Adopted quickly, TicketRX expanded into 14 markets in under three years, Shannon said.
“I actually set a goal for myself,” he recalled. “I was going to take it as fast as I can, as far as I can within a five-year period. Once we started to gather attention, once we made the pivot to the professional truck drivers market … we had two offers on the table last year.”
The freshly announced acquisition of TicketRX — two years earlier than Shannon initially envisioned — is met with extra pride for the entrepreneur, who’s first venture failed, he said candidly.
When he went back to the drawing board after that setback, Shannon browsed his list of startup ideas and nearly tossed plans for TicketRX in the trash, he recalled.
“I literally just came up with this idea on the back of a napkin while I was in college and got a bunch of traffic tickets, because I had a fast car and a lead foot,” he joked, noting that he originally thought the idea was without legs.
MSTS and other potential buyers clearly disagreed.
A shared commitment to Kansas City and passion for the TicketRX platform helped Shannon and the Overland Park firm seal the deal, he said.
“The other company that was looking to acquire us, essentially just wanted to break us apart, put us on the shelf, so they wouldn’t have to deal with us,” Shannon said.
As a result of the acquisition, MSTS — a global payments and credit solutions provider with a wide reach in B2B transportation, manufacturing, retail, and eCommerce — will use the company’s IP in the formal launch of a new brand, Open Road Drivers Plan — ORDP — powered by Ticket RX, the company said.
“Leveraging TicketRX’s technology will allow MSTS to disrupt the industry and offer a revolutionary approach that streamlines communications between attorneys and drivers, minimizes pain points and provides innovative customer service,” said Brandon Spear, president of MSTS.
Founded in 2016, Shannon and his co-founder remained the only employees of TicketRX. The team will grow considerably in the coming months, he said.
“[Through the acquisition] I’ve inherited the team, the existing consumer base, the attorney network. The goal is really to kind of leverage [ORDP] which has been in the market since like 1989 — and I think the technology still resembles that timeframe,” Shannon explained. “We’re really kind of leveraging the best of both worlds, taking their existing network and customer base, leveraging the agility and speed up our platform to deliver a better customer experience.”
Shannon will continue to oversee TicketRX operations as manager of ORDP, he said.