Enter your email below to watch the interview
SPN recently sat down with Proxibid co-founders Ken Maxwell, Andy Liakos and Joe Petsick to talk about Proxibid’s rise to the top of the online marketplace. Proxibid will be presenting their story at the Startup Story Social on April 27.
Proxibid began when the co-founders saw an opportunity to take the live auction industry online. Live auction sales are estimated to account for a $1 trillion in annual sales, but the traditional businesses that run live auctions aren’t scalable and their growth is bound by geography.
The co-founders felt that auction sales companies were already fundamentally good at what they do, but they could benefit from being able to reach a broader audience. They saw a chance to disrupt the industry by assisting the current players instead of replacing them.
Petsick says they underestimated how hard it would be to change an industry that is thousands of years old. Auctioning is dubbed “the second oldest profession.” Nothing about the industry had changed in nearly two-thousand years. Bringing the internet into the live auction process was something completely foreign to the industry.
Other companies had tried this before them but didn’t quite get the formula right regardless of large capital investments.
‘We managed to make it happen,” said Maxwell. “Now that we look back, [we had] a real shoestring budget. At the time, $1 million seemed like a lot of money to us, but in hindsight, it’s a miracle we got the business off the ground with just a $1 million initial capital investment.”
Petsick said it was challenging to raise initial funding in the midwest in 2001. The type of risk-reward investment they were looking for was relatively unknown to the region. He said that piecing together capital was challenging.
“Without any organized capital, you were really left on your own to find things and piece them together,” said Petsick. “Putting it all together was really challenging.”
To find out how Proxibid overcame the odds, enter your email address above and watch the complete interview on the SPN Community Hub. Be sure to register for the Startup Story Social to hear more from the Proxibid co-founders.
Thursday, April 27 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Exchange, 1905 Harney St., 7th Floor, Omaha, NE
6:30 p.m.: Doors open
7:00 p.m.: Proxibid Presentation
8:30 p.m.: Doors close