While it has been reported that Caterpillar has bought Yard Club, the San Francisco peer-to-peer equipment rental company, the actual deal is apparently a little more nuanced than that.
Yard Club was formed in 2013 as an online ordering platform mostly for construction contractors in the San Francisco area that put equipment up for rental when it was not in use. Cat’s investment in the company in 2013 expanded Yard Club’s reach with access to Caterpillar’s U.S. and Canadian dealers.
Now, in what it says is part of its ongoing efforts to expand and develop a broader digital and analytics community in several key markets across the country, Caterpillar has recently added the employees as well as some intellectual property from Yard Club. Though Cat stopped short of calling it an acquisition.
“Caterpillar is excited to welcome new colleagues from Yard Club,” said Tom Bucklar, Caterpillar director for innovation and digital. “They are a great addition to increasing our strength in user experience and user interface design, and will be heavily involved in designing and building digital solutions within our Cat Connect Technologies and Services.”
In 2015, Yard Club became the first venture investment of the newly formed Caterpillar Ventures. Representing Caterpillar’s first major technology presence in Silicon Valley, the Yard Club team will join the company’s Marketing & Digital Division, helping to accelerate the company’s digital strategy.
“Yard Club and Caterpillar share a similar vision to re-defining the digital experience for customers in our industry,” said Colin Evran, founder and CEO of Yard Club. “Over the past two years, we’ve had great success working with Caterpillar dealers and customers to do just that.”
Caterpillar’s employee investments include a team based in the Digital Hub at Merchandise Mart in Chicago (opened in October 2016) and in Peoria. “As we continue to build out our Cat Connect Technologies and Services for our customers, we know having the best talent in key markets is critically important,” Bucklar said.
For more information: www.caterpillar.com/iot.