When tech firm OneRail in January moved into its 18,000-square-foot office in Orlando, it was a “leap of faith,” CEO Bill Catania said.
That’s because the last-mile delivery software startup at the time employed 35 people, but the office at SouthPark Center could comfortably fit 100 workers. That said, OneRail wasn’t overzealous in moving into the office. In fact, the three-year-old company had been conservative.
Next year, OneRail plans to lease an additional 18,000 square feet across the hall as its headcount now sits at 100 people, Catania said. It’s a sign of the growth to come, since OneRail expects to grow its staff from roughly 100 people to 200 by year’s end 2022. Much of that will be driven by its work beginning to handle shipments for new big-name clients, like Raleigh, North Carolina-based auto aftermarket parts provider Advance Auto Parts and Park City, Utah-based consumer electronics firm Skullcandy Inc., Catania told Orlando Inno.
It’s been a busy couple of years for OneRail. In 2020, the firm consolidated its staff of nine people — who previously were in Florida and North Carolina — in Orlando. Then, in August, OneRail closed a $9 million Series A investment round.
Here, Catania shares more with Orlando Business Journal on OneRail’s big year in 2021 and its outlook for 2022:
What were some of OneRail’s top 2021 accomplishments? We’ve grown, year over year, 625%. It’s going to be quite a bit more than that next year. We’re forecasting somewhere along the lines of 1,000%. We won the SCLA Pitch Tank Award. It’s kind of like the “Shark Tank” of the industry. We were named to the Freight Tech 100. To be on that list was pretty big for us this year, and it was a little bit of a longshot just because there are a lot of companies. It’s not just freight tech companies — there’s Tesla.
What types of jobs will OneRail create next year? We have 30 jobs or so open right now. We just have to keep expanding [the IT and product] team because we need more bandwidth for implementation. The challenge you have, if you’re growing really fast, is you have finite resources. They can do development and product, and they can get consumed just implementing. What do you do then about innovation? How do you keep growing? So, about a third to 40% will be IT and product, 20%-30% implementation support training, and then the balance is sales and marketing.
Are you satisfied with the decision to bring the entire company to Orlando? We’ve been able to attract talent. That was something our investors were concerned about. Orlando is not thought of as a tech hub. I’ve said I would consider it a big win if OneRail can help cultivate that. There are a lot of great companies locally that are making it happen. We just want to be one of them.
What are the big milestones ahead in 2022? We’re going live nationally with Advance Auto Parts [in the first quarter]. It’s 150 stores a week starting in January all year, and we’re at 6,000 stores by the third quarter. Also, we’re combining warehousing and transportation. We’re launching that next month. We’re doing the CES show, which is huge. We want to be there because we just signed Skullcandy. We’re going to be doing 100% of their outbound logistics from their warehouse. We think that a lot of electronics companies have similar pain points to what Skullcandy does. They can’t find enough transportation providers efficiently. They’re getting abused by the retailers because the retailers have a way of charging back if loads are late or if loads aren’t managed or loaded the right way. Our solution is digitally matching couriers that have a favorable performance record with these retailers so they’re not incurring charge backs, and they’re saving on their transportation costs, making it a very automated process.
Why is it important to OneRail to invest into more office space given the rise in remote work the past two years? The reason we came into this office was because we need to set a tone, and we need a culture that will support collaboration and fast growth. We have the bulk of our product team working under the same roof every day. We have all of our implementation team here. The office was really an investment into the team. That’s why we have basically unlimited beverages — alcoholic and nonalcoholic — and unlimited food; pingpong tables and games night. It’s very family-like.
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