The purpose of Client Tell is to spotlight the incredible work of our clients, and to help businesses learn from and connect with each other. This month, we sat down with Robert Preville, Founder and CEO of KWIPPED, the world’s first comprehensive B2B online equipment marketplace. Take a behind-the-scenes look at this Wilmington startup, and its journey to becoming an online hub for more than 6,000 rentals valued at 75 million dollars and spanning 20 different industries.
Identifying an Opportunity
Before founding KWIPPED, Robert Preville started and sold two other rapidly-growing businesses in the manufacturing services and equipment industry. “KWIPPED was the culmination of 14 years of observation and experience,” he said. “I noticed there were many small rental distributors serving large-scale and niche B2B industries, but there was no global network of pre-sourced suppliers.”
Preville acted on this opportunity and launched KWIPPED in 2014, and the business quickly grew to be a rental resource for industry-specific equipment in more than 500 categories. Companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, Sherwin-Williams and several hospitals and universities have rented from KWIPPED’s massive inventory.
A Unique Business Model
The thing that sets KWIPPED apart from traditional marketplaces is that it doesn’t own any of the assets. “We efficiently help businesses identify their equipment needs, and then connect them to a large network of pre-qualified suppliers who can provide them,” explained Robert.
The website’s messaging component allows companies to converse with a representative who is knowledgeable in the specifics of the products they require. They are then connected to a network of premier suppliers offering various rent or lease options, and multiple quotes are delivered electronically for quick comparison. Companies rely on KWIPPED as a one-stop shop for expertise, a vast inventory and reliable billing system.
“When people see an opportunity for a particular online marketplace, they get intimidated by the technology and marketing investment and view it as a barrier for entry,” said Robert. “But I think it’s all about getting the right participants on board and keeping them engaged. Our customers know they can trust our site for smarter, more affordable access to any equipment they may need.”
An Innovative Legal Framework
Because of the pioneering nature of KWIPPED’s operations, they look to Fourscore Business Law for out-of-the-box legal support. The technology connects multiple parties with diverse interests, so it’s imperative that the rental contracts are consistent and mutually beneficial.
“Our customers have come to know our contracts are designed on their behalf,” said Robert. “Once a contract is approved, large-scale organizations like hospitals know they can use it to rent equipment across industries without having to go back and re-invent the wheel. We rely on Fourscore Business Law because they always thinks creatively and brings a special blend of legal and business savvy to the negotiation table.”
Although Robert keeps his finger on the pulse of the Wilmington startup community, and appreciates its strong network and impressive talent pool, he looked outside of town for legal support. “We found a responsive, knowledgeable and creative partner in Fourscore and their model aligns perfectly with the evolving needs of our startup,” he said. “We continue to rely on Fourscore because they have a fundamental understanding of our business model and the unprecedented efficiency we work to accomplish every day.”
To learn more, visit www.KWIPPED.com.