EquipmentShare is a platform that allows contractors to rent and manage construction fleets using technology platforms. Image Credit: Shutterstock.
EquipmentShare, a Columbia, Missouri-based construction rental startup, announced the close of a $230 million funding round on July 15. The round was led by investment group Tiger Global, The Spruce House Partnership and RedBird Capital Partners.
The construction solutions company offers contractors ways to rent and manage mixed construction fleets by leveraging its own technology solutions platforms. It plans to use the new funding to hire people across all areas of the business and to launch new core technology products.
“We're expanding our technology teams, and really investing heavily within those,” President and Co-founder Willy Schlacks told The Org. “But there's no distinct, singular investment occurring, it really is investing across all teams.”
Currently in 90 locations across the country and with almost 3,000 employees, EquipmentShare has grown rapidly since it started in 2014. It was founded by brothers Jakkob and Willy Schlacks, alongside three other co-founders, after the group experienced pains building out other companies in the industry — which has historically been disconnected from technology and lags in productivity gains.
“The technology we use is the technology that we built,” Schlacks said. “The problem that we see in this industry is really linked to a lack of productivity and efficiency. The reason that exists is because there is no platform, no real time visibility into the built environment in the construction and industrial industry.”
Schlacks says the company hopes to further fill the gaps for contractors with the launch of T3, its new core technology product that will digitize and connect the three verticals of construction productivity: assets, people and materials.
A new influx of funding almost certainly means a chance for a company to scale its people and its teams. EquipmentShare’s goal is to hire an average of 100 employees each month, as well as hire more teams for each new market it enters.
Schlacks says each time his company goes through another round of mass hiring and scaling out new teams, it reminds him of the critical importance of teams and people, and resonating with their values.
“One primary value is that ability to acquire new information, and whether that looks like humility,” Schlacks said. “Because even if you think about technology, it’s all about a scientific method. It is about this playing field where you question assumptions, and you try and you iterate. And you constantly have this equality of opinions, which to me feels like humility.”
He said that was something the company had coalesced around, and it would play a role in the next wave of hiring, as well as in the company’s future growth.
As part of the next wave of hiring, EquipmentShare will be looking for some of its most senior positions in the company. On July 15, the company announced that longtime General Electric executive Trevor Schauenberg will be joining as the new Chief Financial Officer.
Schauenberg first joined the board at EquipmentShare nearly a year ago and has been working closely with the founders and senior leadership team as an Executive Operating Partner. He worked at GE in several leadership roles for 28 years selling financial products and most recently, building financing capabilities for international businesses.
At EquipmentShare, he will be responsible for creating sustainable financial structures to help support the company during this next stage of growth.
“When you are growing 100%, it's important to continually look at your staffing and process capabilities to make sure you can keep up with the growth,” Schauenberg said.
As EquipmentShare looks ahead to a busy rest of 2021 and starts its path down a new chapter of growth, Schlacks points to another lesson he says he learned early on in his career.
“A company's growth is really inextricably linked to the growth of the individuals in the company,” Schlacks said. “It’s not just about revenue, or expansion of yards, and teams and employees, etc.
“We understand that sustainability means that there’s a capacity as employees to grow individually and create momentum from a physical and mental health perspective that is very drastically correlated to our company growth.”
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