It may be difficult to buy dump trucks and earthmovers online, but renting is another matter. Kwipped Inc.’s Kwipped.com is a start-up rental service for businesses in need of products ranging from heavy-duty construction equipment to high-tech medical machines.
The rental e-marketplace, which launched in the fourth quarter of last year, has built up a base of more than 200 suppliers providing short- and long-term rentals for equipment used in 17 industries across the United States, Canada and Europe, Kwipped says. Many of its suppliers are new to the business of renting equipment; they use Kwipped.com to rent equipment that would otherwise site idle during slow periods, Kwipped says.
Kwipped, based in Wilmington, N.C., provides access to more than 500 types of products across 16 categories:
Audio and Visual;
Photography and Film;
Work Zone Safety;
Electrical Power line;
Kwipped.com provides an online platform for suppliers and renters to make initial contact, establish rental bids and contracts, exchange invoices and other business documents, process security deposits for rented equipment, and arrange for delivery or pick-up of equipment. Kwipped.com says it monitors each supplier to certify it provides quality products and services.
Customers can submit to suppliers on Kwipped.com requests for price quotes on particular products, specifying the number of items and a preferred delivery or pick-up date. Suppliers then provide a contract bid through Kwipped.com, which encourages suppliers to submit bids within 24 hours during usual business hours.
Kwipped introduced earlier this month a new RentNow feature, through which suppliers can list products already priced and ready to order. More than 1,000 products across 100 product lines are already available through RentNow, Kwipped says.
Kwipped earns its revenue by taking a commission on rental orders it forwards to suppliers. It says the commission varies by each transaction according to transaction value and order volumes with each supplier. It charges no other fees to suppliers or renters.
Kwipped received seed funding from Inception Micro Angel Fund in Cary, N.C. Kwipped has not announced the amount it has received in outside investments. Serving as advisors to Kwipped are William Salter, a former president of Sears, Roebuck & Co.; and Eileen Markowitz, former president of ThomasNet, an organization also known as the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. Kwipped has not provided more details about its arrangements with Salter and Markowitz.
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