AutoQuotes CEO Jim Contardi has given an update on the company’s plans to invest in its products and services.
Contardi, who joined the team last June, said AutoQuotes has decided to invest across its business, with the most significant allocation going to research and development.
He said: “At AQ, we have many discussions about how we should invest our capital to create maximum value for our customers.
“The research and development is where we come up with new product or feature ideas, test them in the market, and engineer and build them – while simultaneously improving our legacy products.”
Nearly $4m (£3.13m) has been invested in research and development in 2020, an increase of almost 70% over 2019.
He added: “And that is just our software and technology platform; we have made a separate, very significant investment in curating and maintaining our product content.”
Contardi went on to detail why investment in research and development was the biggest priority for the budget.
He said: “Why would we allocate this much money to R&D during a global pandemic? Why would we allocate this much money to R&D instead of to sales and marketing and miss out on short-term revenue? Because we are investing, not spending, and we believe in the future of foodservice equipment and supplies (FES).
“This is a terrible situation that has negatively affected much of the FES value chain. But we believe it is temporary and – together – we will collectively come back stronger. We hold steadfast to our vision of creating order, reducing friction, and making connections for this industry.”
The AQ CEO said that the starting point was investing in new and better technology which will help the tech firm to enable its customers to operate more efficiently and more effectively in what he describes as a more digital-first world going forward.
He said: “We’ve made another meaningful investment in 2020 that wasn’t in our plan, which was finalised in late 2019 before Covid-19 struck.
“The pandemic and accompanying recession have since had a devastating impact on many of our customers. That is why we created and announced the AQ Cares program in March to aid those who have been hardest hit.”
Since then, AutoQuotes has invested over $2.2m (£1.7m) in deferrals, payment plans, and fee adjustments.
He added: “We are a small company, so that is a big blow to our short-term outlook. But we’re in this for the long-term, so to us, it seemed like a good investment.”
In the coming 6 months, AQ said it will reveal new and improved products – some of those incremental improvements and some ground-breaking developments.