Houston energy tech startup talks growth and national expansion following $5.5M series A
HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 22
Industrial operations might be a bit behind in technology advances, but that's going to start changing, according to Adam Gilles, CEO and co-founder of Houston-based Hitched Inc.
The software-as-a-service company acts as a digital marketplace and management solution for service providers renting industrial equipment. It's a platform not too unfamiliar for Airbnb — users can quickly rent machinery online without even having to pick up a phone and talk to anyone.
"I think streamline oil and gas is what everyone is trying to do," Gilles says on the industry's technology evolution. "I've always said that industrial technology will follow the path of consumer technology."
Gilles and his COO and co-founder, Lance Richardson, join this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss the technology and Hitched's rapid growth and lofty goals.
"Change for a startup is like eating breakfast," Richardson says on the podcast. "Ultimately, [our goal] is to be the marketplace management tool for all of oil and gas."
Since its founding in 2018, Hitched has expanded throughout Texas and its surrounding states, with more expansion on the horizon. A recent $5.5 million series A round led by Houston-based Cottonwood Venture Partners has upped the ante on hiring new salespeople — Gilles says his team will grow to 50 people by the end of the year.
For now, Hitched rents out equipment within the oil and gas industry — where Gilles and Richardson have experience in — but the company will expand into other industrial sectors.
"As we've built this technology, it's industry agnostic," Gilles says. "Energy was the low-hanging fruit for us being that we've been in the industry for 10 years now with our contacts and what not, but frankly it makes sense for us to move into those other spaces."
Neither Gilles or Richardson are Houston natives — both recently relocated to give Hitched its best shot as a fast-growing, ready-for-scale tech company.
"Houston will always be the energy capital of the world, but as energy innovates, there's a good chance it will become a technology hub as well," Gilles says. "I can't see why a technology firm in the energy space wouldn't be based in Houston. It's just doesn't make sense to me."
Listen to the full episode below — or wherever you get your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.