Caterpillar acquired Yard Club, a marketplace for construction equipment

Yard Club, a startup founded to make more efficient use of construction and other heavy equipment, has been acquired by Caterpillar. Terms were not disclosed, but Yard Club CEO Colin Evran confirmed the deal had closed earlier this week.

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

Since then, Yard Club has continued to grow its rental business, while also adding features for users. According to the company’s website, Yard Club processed $120 million in transactions across 2,500 contractors and rental companies in 2016.

As time has gone on, the company also moved from a transactional business based on taking a cut of rentals made on its platform to one that provides a 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 relatively modest amount of venture investment. Altogether, the company had raised $5.1 million from investors that include Caterpillar, Andreessen Horowitz, Harrison Metal, Dorm Room Fund, Fred Poses and Andy Rachleff.

Now that it’s part of Caterpillar, the hope is that Yard Club will be able to bring more tech to an industry that has sorely been lacking in tech.

“Our visions are aligned. We were already working within the Caterpillar distribution network and they were an investor in our company,” Evran told me. 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.