The year 2018 provided significant growth for Rebate Bus. We saw a continuous rise in the number of professionals added to the team along with member companies subscribing to our Rebate Bus Pro service. On top of that, our company was the beneficiary of a $500,000 investment! There have been many new milestones in 2018 contributing to our mission of driving industry involvement in utility rebate programs.
Over the past year the Rebate Bus team doubled from 8 to 16 full-time employees. We added a mix of young professionals and industry-experienced senior directors to manage rebate fulfillment for the commercial and residential sectors. As a testimony to our utility rebate expertise, we now collectively have over 75 years of experience in the energy efficiency industry. This makes Rebate Bus the go-to resource for Pro members leveraging utility rebates on their projects and solidifies our standing as a preferred partner to utility implementers administering downstream, midstream and upstream programs.
Growing the team would not have happened without new Rebate Bus Pro members contracting our service to simplify and accelerate their utility rebate processes. 20 companies signed on in 2018, ranging from manufacturers to online distributors and energy efficiency solutions companies. Each company has subscribed to variable levels of services dependent on the volume of work managed by our team and their level of access to our proprietary software. One manufacturer client dramatically increased the amount of business with Rebate Bus, enabling our team to significantly expand their involvement in utility incentive programs.
In just 8 months, the Rebate Bus team leveraged participation in residential retail programs to drive sales for our client. Beginning in May through December, the team successfully launched new residential lighting programs with 16 programs in 5 different retailers. With one major retailer, the Rebate Bus team transitioned the entire portfolio of existing programs into new Net-Into-Stock programs just under 3 months. Transitioning a painstaking internal process into our own streamlined operation, our team reinstated their customer as a reputable industry partner who utility programs want to engage and do business with.
Increasing the volume of our business and the addition of team members led to relocating our headquarters. This past June Rebate Bus upgraded from our garage in Sun Prairie to Startingblock Madison, a brand new entrepreneurial hub in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. We’ve benefited from the surrounding startup companies with like-minded goals of scaling their business, and have been able to make valuable connections within the community.
The move paid off, and by November we were beneficiaries of a $500,000 investment from the Winnebago Seed Fund. Rebate Bus is the 6th startup to be funded by the Winnebago Seed Fund, whose goal is to invest in Wisconsin entrepreneurs and grow startups throughout the state. David Trotter, our Managing Director at the Winnebago Seed Fund said, “Rebate Bus is a uniquely positioned technology company with significant growth opportunity.” This was a great way to wrap up the year and prepare for even bigger things to come in 2019.
In 2017 we saw our business accelerate with early adopters of our service, in 2018 we saw our business continue to grow by increasing our credibility in the industry. In 2019 we will execute our business goals and continue improving customer experience. This past year will be remembered as a critical year for growth in our company story. If you were apart of it as an employee, a customer or industry partner, we thank you for coming along for the ride!, If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, let’s work together in 2019! There is always plenty of room on the Rebate Bus!