Last week, Proxibid celebrated our 15th birthday. Let’s take a look back at where we’ve been over the past 15 years.
Proxibid was founded in July 2001 to provide auction companies with the ability to sell to bidders through an online portal. The formative years were spent at the Scott Technology Center Incubator on the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha.
The first live auction webcast took place September 7, 2002 as a beta test not connected to a database. The following week, Proxibid sold its first item live online during an auction – a selection of electric motors for $35. In March, 2003, Bruce Hoberman joined the company as President and CEO to provide structured leadership for the young management team.
In February 2006 Proxibid celebrated 100 auctions in one month – a major milestone for the start-up. By May 2008 the company celebrated 500 auctions in one month. In August 2008, Tetrad Holdings Corporation (Tetrad) made a $1 million investment in Proxibid to help the company accelerate development of a new company website.
During the initial years, Proxibid experienced incredible growth. The workforce doubled in size every 12-18 months from 2002 to 2009. In 2010, Ryan Downs joined the company as President and later ascended to the role of President and CEO.
Hear more about Ryan Down’s path to Proxibid and viewpoint on the Midwest’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in a throwback video from Big Kansas City 2013:
In 2011, Proxibid rolled out the code release in the company’s history. Internally, the project was dubbed “Superman.” With a newly designed website, we added additional category landing pages, more efficient fraud prevention measures, a streamlined registration and bidding processes, and tools to make it easier for users to browse for and find events. Many of the major improvements are still integral to Proxibid’s site today.
In June 2014, Proxibid took the leap across the pond and officially launched an international office in London. Today, three employees work from the office and serve our rapidly expanding base of European buyers and sellers.
In September 2014, Proxibid celebrated its 100 millionth bid placed on the site. The 100 millionth bid was placed on Sept. 12 at 1:32 p.m. by Roy Rhoden, a long-time Proxibid buyer, during Deanco Auction Company’s Public Equipment Auction. Rhoden won a Vizio laptop from Divvy, a Proxibid company dedicated to providing consumers with high quality new and recertified consumer electronics. We also celebrated in typical Proxibid fashion.
Over the last 15 years, Proxibid has evolved from a conduit for auction companies to the world’s most trusted way to connect buyers and sellers of highly valued items. More than 15 categories of inventory pass through our Marketplace via 4 different ways to buy and sell. While we couldn’t touch on every major milestone in Proxibid’s history, we can all agree that it’s been an incredible 15 years.
Thank you to everyone who helped us reach the place we are today. As CEO Ryan Downs said in a 2010 interview with Silicon Prairie News, “it does feel like a startup in this respect: there’s a renewed energy around innovation.” This rings as true today as it did in 2010. As Proxibid looks towards the future, we are dedicated to innovation – one of our core values. From exploring new partnerships to developing the user experience to maintaining our edge in risk management, Proxibid will continue to lead the way in the industry.