After two-years of building up its user base in the lower Midwest, peer-to-peer construction-equipment rental service EquipmentShare recently has secured $26 million in private equity funding. The Columbia, Mo.-based tech start-up plans to invest the new funds in refining its telematics management software.
“We’re shifting focus away from market expansion,” says Willy Schlacks, who cofounded the firm with his brother Jobbock Schlacks. “For us, this latest investment is for the technology side, building out telematics and solving contractor problems.”
EquipmentShare now serves customers across the southern Midwest region, providing the software and resources that allow equipment owners to rent idle equipment from each other. Users can post their equipment profiles online, where other users can browse and make selections.
EquipmentShare also handles the insurance, transportation and other logistical challenges of rental agreements, allowing contractors to earn some money back on the investment.
“In excavation, we have high overhead. It can be a struggle to make it work,” says Bartley Stevenson, owner of Milam Contracting, Columbia, Mo.“But with EquipmentShare, we can keep going and going. We get paid, and it helps us wear out the equipment faster so that I can get new equipment.”
EquipmentShare offers ES Track, a telematics system that integrates into a single dashboard data pulled from different equipment manufacturers’ systems.
Getting around the headaches of mixed fleets is only the start for ES Track, says Schlacks, adding, “We’re moving beyond just collecting data and giving contractors the features they ask for. We’ll be getting into predictive analysis to analyze problems and spot them earlier.”