Caterpillar acquires Yard Club equipment market

Global construction and mining equipment number one acquires startup focused on the efficient sale of rental of equipment across a software as a service platform

A view of YardClub's interface across both its desktop and mobile application formats.
A view of YardClub's interface across both its desktop and mobile application formats.

Caterpillar has acquired Yard Club, a startup founded to make more efficient use of construction and other heavy equipment, under undisclosed terms.

The deal came about almost exactly two years after Caterpillar announced a strategic investment in Yard Club, as part of which the startup began working with the dealers in the Caterpillar network and helping them to rent and sell equipment to contractors.

Since then, Yard Club has continued to grow its rental business, and according to the company’s website, processed $120m in transactions across 2,500 contractors and rental companies in 2016.

Over the course of its development, the company has moved from a transactional business based on taking a cut of rentals made on its platform to one that provides a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) platform to help customers manage all the pieces of equipment they own or rent.

That includes tools for dispatch, scheduling and fleet visibility, as well as inspection and maintenance management. Competitors in the space include startups like EquipmentShare and Getable.

But compared to those companies, Yard Club has received a modest $5.1m of investment from Caterpillar, Andreessen Horowitz, Harrison Metal, Dorm Room Fund, Fred Poses and Andy Rachleff.

As part of Caterpillar, Yard Club could now be poised to take the next step. As part of the deal, Yard Club’s 13 employees have joined Caterpillar and will act as the equipment maker’s digital presence in San Francisco.

Yard Club CEO Colin Evran told TechCrunch: “Our visions are aligned. We were already working within the Caterpillar distribution network and they were an investor in our company.”

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