NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Imagine a room filled with some of the nation's brightest Ivy League wunderkinds hovering over their computers. The atmosphere is electric; it's deal time. The quants crunch through exotic financial models, comb through pitch books and conduct valuation analysis on just the most recent in a long train of acquisitions.
Goldman Sachs? The Carlyle Group? Barclays? Some other high-power New York investment bank? Nope. It's Fleetcor Technologies (FLT) . Norcross, Ga.
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Legitimate question. This company doesn't do any marketing or PR. No interviews, ever. It's a quintessential "under the radar" business. The only time you hear from them is on their quarterly conference call. But while you were away, Fleetcor has quietly grown from a small cap in its 2010 IPO to a company worth over $15 billion today.
So what do they do?
Fleetcor issues payment cards (similar to credit or debit cards) to fleet managers who then distribute these cards to drivers to purchase fuel and cover maintenance costs. Customers include business or government entities that own vehicles and rely on ground transportation to do business. By using FleetCor's cards, fleets can better manage, monitor and control their drivers' spending patterns and ultimately increase efficiencies. In fact, its product helps customers reduce fuel expenses by roughly 15% per year. When your biggest cost is fuel, that matters. Meanwhile, by partnering with FleetCor, card-accepting merchants (i.e., "gas stations") can increase their own volume while enhancing customer loyalty. Leveraging its pricing power on both sides of the equation, FleetCor charges subscription and transaction fees to fleets and receives transaction revenue from merchants each time its customers purchase fuel at their location.