A rapidly-growing startup based in Columbia, Mo., is planning to open its technical hub in Kansas City.
As it expands around the nation, EquipmentShare co-founder Willy Schlacks said he’s hoping to hire about 20 software and web developers for the firm, which has been touted as the “Airbnb for construction equipment.”
EquipmentShare created a peer-to-peer marketplace to rent construction equipment, helping contractors to find and rent unused equipment that otherwise would be collecting dust. In addition to the marketplace, the firm created a device — the ES Tracker — that provides real-time data on the location and use of machines that have been rented.
Schlacks said that Kansas City was a natural destination for the firm’s tech office. In addition to a deep pool of tech talent, he’s been encouraged by the interactions the company has had with Kansas City.
“I’m excited about what we’ve seen so far from the developer community in Kansas City,” Schlacks said. “We have no fear we won’t be able to find the talent we need for this first push and to continue growing the company in Kansas City.”
In addition to lending and renting equipment, the platform combines insurance verification, background checks and payment processing. EquipmentShare offers a plethora of equipment for rent from cranes and forklifts to trailers and landscaping equipment.
Founded in 2014, EquipmentShare has garnered serious traction in its three years. The company already has 95 employees, has raised more than $7.6 million and participated in the Y Combinator accelerator program.
The marketplace is in operation in Columbia, St. Louis, Dallas, Jacksonville and Auckland, New Zealand, but plans to expand quickly in the coming year. In the next 18 months, the firm plans to expand its offerings into most major metros in the United States, including Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and others.
Schlacks said he’s thrilled to see his company grow and make an impact in the construction industry.
“From the product standpoint, it’s exciting to be on the edge of an industry,” he said. “I love building stuff that doesn’t exist and solving problems that haven’t come up yet.”