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Real Estate - Commercial

Local Startup Receives Investment Funding, Moves Downtown

By Cece Nunn, posted Jan 5, 2017
KWIPPED founder and CEO Robert Preville; Charlie Dickinson, business development executive; Robin Salter, chief marketing officer; and Brian Robinson, director of business development, are shown in KWIPPED's new office downtown. (Courtesy of KWIPPED)

A local startup has received additional growth funding and moved to an office in downtown Wilmington, the company announced Thursday.

KWIPPED Inc., an online B2B equipment rental marketplace, received funding from VentureSouth, an early stage investment firm, in December. The investment makes VentureSouth the lead investor in KWIPPED's $1 million Series A round, increasing KWIPPED's total capital raised to more than $700,000.

Greater Wilmington Business Journal owners Robert Preville and Rob Kaiser are part owners of KWIPPED. Preville is also KWIPPED's founder and CEO, and Kaiser is on the company's board of directors.

“We're thrilled to have an investment partner with the experience, reputation and track record of VentureSouth. The ability to tap into the expertise and knowledge of its members will be invaluable as we scale and grow our business,” Preville said in a news release.

KWIPPED's online platform facilitates equipment rentals between businesses and organizations that need to rent specialized commercial equipment and suppliers that have equipment inventory available to rent. KWIPPED offers rentals in more than 500 equipment categories across 22 different industries and has over $55 million in assets available for rent for applications including: medical and laboratory, audio-visual, construction, surveying, film production, power utility and many more, according to the release. 

“We plan to leverage the funds to substantially expand our marketing efforts, and to add sales and technology employees. The investment also enabled us to lease some much needed office space to accommodate our growing staff,” Preville said in the release.

KWIPPED's new office headquarters are on the third floor of the A. David Building at 228 N. Front St. in downtown Wilmington. In recent years, the Port City's downtown Front Street corridor has slowly been growing into a hub for startups.

“It's exciting to grow a business in this budding entrepreneurial community —and we feel that excitement is enhanced by the vibrant, creative energy flowing through the rapidly developing downtown corridor. Downtown, there's a real sense of belonging to the core of Wilmington, and we are thrilled to be part of it,” said KWIPPED CMO Robin Salter in Thursday's announcement.

Previously, KWIPPED operated out of space in the Business Journal's office at 219 Station Road near Ogden.

KWIPPED currently has nearly 500 registered equipment suppliers and more than 2,100 registered rental customers, including well-known brands and organizations such as Apple Inc., The Coca Cola Company, Siemens, Sherwin-Williams, the U.S. Navy, Under Armor, BASF, Leica Geosystems, General Dynamics, the University of Chicago Medical Center and the U.S. Forest Service.

“Equipment rental is a $50 billion-a-year industry in the U.S.; and KWIPPED is the first company to design an online platform to make the process of sourcing and renting equipment simple and efficient. We're excited about our investment in KWIPPED because they've proven their platform provides valuable benefits and advantages for both renters and suppliers—and we think KWIPPED has the potential to be truly disruptive in several industries that have never had access to an efficient method of renting equipment,” said Paul Clark, VentureSouth managing director, in the release.

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