At this rate, Wall Street may soon start calling Airbnb “the EquipmentShare of affordable lodging.”
In early 2015, TechCrunch had likened the Columbia, MO-based construction technology startup to an “Airbnb for equipment rental,” but that was more than a year before the peer-to-peer marketplace dealer had secured $5.5 million in venture funding led by Romulus Capital. This morning, EquipmentShare made even bigger news, announcing $26 million in new VC funding led by Insight Venture Partners, as well as existing investors Romulus and Y Combinator.
“With this funding, we’re able to spark even greater change in this industry by further expanding our rental marketplace footprint and providing contractors everywhere with the telematics data they need to optimize their equipment,” said Willy Schlacks, 33, president of EquipmentShare. He and older brother Jarrock, the firm’s 39-year-old CEO, founded the company in 2014. At that time, Y Combinator had led the initial round of seed funding that raised $2.1 million.
Of note, according to a form D filing with the SEC, EquipmentShare reported Jan. 5 that it had actually raised $28.4 million to date. That includes the initial seed funding, Schlacks told BuiltWorlds.
EquipmentShare said it will use this month’s windfall to launch its new mixed-fleet telematics solution, ES Track, and to open contractor-to-contractor rental locations in eight more U.S. markets, in the South and the Midwest. Already, it operates in Columbia, MO; St. Louis; Dallas; Jacksonville, FL; and Auckland, New Zealand. The new U.S. offices will include one in Kansas City, MO, where EquipmentShare already announced earlier this month that it plans to hire 20 new software and web developers.
- Below, a sample window into how ES Track works.
“Since our founding, we’ve committed ourselves to helping the construction industry become more efficient, lucrative, and productive,” added firm president Schlacks. “ES Track enables contractors and OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to make more informed decisions about their fleets through automated data collection. Not only can contractors automate maintenance and job analytics, but [now] they can also boost the ROI of their fleets by renting their underutilized assets on EquipmentShare.”
The company describes ES Track as a “robust” telematics platform that allows contractors to track the location, health, and use of their entire fleet in real time, all in one place. It provides “in-depth oversight tools” and analytics for both contractors and OEMs. That will be even more useful once a new electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, takes effect in December 2017. That will require all contractors to prove hours of service compliance using ELDs.
“EquipmentShare is quickly emerging as the gold standard telematics-connectivity platform and marketplace for the construction industry, changing the paradigm on how contractors operate their businesses,” said Insight Venture Partners VP Harley Miller, who has now joined EquipmentShare’s board of directors. “We are pleased to add EquipmentShare to our portfolio of companies as they continue to outpace the competition and redefine a massive and growing industry.”
Added Romulus Capital co-founder Neil Chheda, “[It is] one of the fastest-growing construction technology companies in the nation. In the 18 months following our investment in their seed round, the company expanded into two new markets and developed a comprehensive telematics platform that will benefit contractors on an entirely new scale. [It] is a prime example of a company that has taken the collaborative consumption model and evolved it into a more meaningful technology business.”