ProsRent: A CodeLaunch Acceleration Story
When businesses need to rent construction equipment outside of their usual territory, they need to rent from vendors that they don’t know. And they usually end up paying a higher price, too — because the industry is dominated by three large companies.
These companies own most of the 7,500 equipment rental companies/supply yards in the U.S., so they can demand marked-up prices from new customers.
That’s where ProsRent comes in. The brainchild of Nicholas Powell and John Clark, ProsRent is a solution that enables companies to find vendors who offer competitive prices, saving them a lot of time and money.
After serving in the Marine Corps, Nicholas moved to Texas in 2012. He met John through their girlfriends, who worked together.
Ironically, Nicholas interviewed for a job at John’s company — USA Renovations — but didn’t get the position.
But Nicholas didn’t hold a grudge. In fact, six months later, he pitched the idea behind Arkhem Auto Group to John...who loved it. Two and a half months later, John got back to Nicholas with an early version of a startup he wanted to pursue, ProsRent.com.
Nicholas went into research mode — digging into the industry to understand the pain points of potential users to pursue opportunities for ProsRent.com.
Three months later, John gave Nick equity in ProsRent, as the partners began to really commit to their new concept. Nick quit his job as a mortgage closer, taking a job at a bar in Frisco so he could spend the rest of his time building a network of suppliers. Soon, they were ready to present their idea to the industry — which was definitely ready for a streamlined process of renting equipment.
Exploring the Needs
While there are many suppliers who offer competitive rates, it’s hard for customers to find them — they lack exposure and marketing dollars, and might not show up via Google search. So companies that need to rent construction equipment simply can’t find the available options to compare pricing. In fact, Nicholas and John learned that these companies often end up paying 30% to 40% more when working with new suppliers — because they don’t expect repeat business from them. That’s where ProsRent comes in.
Solving the Problem
ProsRent enables smaller equipment rental companies to “compete with the big boys” — by creating a database that connects equipment rental companies and the businesses that need construction rental across all regions. This enables customers to get more competitive rates, and small- to medium-sized construction rental companies to find new customers and grow their business. By building their network — including 60 supply yards and 3,500 locations around the country — ProsRent is changing the game. As the single point of contact, they handle the invoicing, service issues, and much more. These services save the backend departments a lot of time and money, so project managers can focus on their project and their client, instead of sourcing materials. Thankfully for Nicholas and John, word travels fast in their industry — and after going live, they began to grow quickly.
Succeeding at CodeLaunch
The team decided to enter CodeLaunch 2016, and was able to take a top spot at the event.
“Our overall experience was fantastic,” says Nicholas. “Even without becoming full partners with Code Authority, they gave us a leg up and pointed us in the right direction.”
- Working with 60 supply yards, servicing 3,500 locations in the U.S.
- $407,000 in sales since January 2018
- $550,000 in revenue since the company was founded in October 2017
- 20 active renters that utilize ProsRent every time they have a project
- A first true MVP introduced in June 2018 to start launching out to suppliers
- Work has begun on a front-facing website (to be completed in the next year) to move to a completely proprietary platform at ProsRent.com
Looking Back and Giving Advice
“The hardest thing is to take the leap,” says Nicholas. “If you have a great idea, a good business model, and a legitimate proof of concept, you’re at the edge of cliff.” “When you’re confident that your idea will disrupt the market, benefit clients, and help the industry, it’s time to jump!”
You can apply to CodeLaunch by submitting your app idea via online application here:
And text "CodeLaunch" to 63566 to pre-register to attend the 2018 competition on August 1 at the Dr Pepper Arena!