Leslie Collins, reporter Kansas City Business Journal
WANRack LLC isn’t even halfway through the year, and it’s already experiencing explosive growth.
“We did more sales this season than our last three combined,” CEO Rob Oyler told the Kansas City Business Journal, achieving a 312 percent revenue growth rate.
The company, which builds high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks for K-12 schools, also recently entered four new states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Nevada, bringing WANRack’s total footprint to 13 states. (WAN stands for Wide Area Network.)
“It just builds the momentum once you enter a new state,” Oyler said.
The fiber industry is a land grab right now, and school districts are hungry for more bandwidth to support their education needs. It’s driving WANRack’s growth. During the next six to 18 months, the company will be building thousands of fiber miles.
“A lot of the education materials now are tech-based, so you’ve gotta have a network that’s capable of running it,” he said. “We’ve really gone over the hill for the need of bandwidth.”
The Kansas City market is spoiled with Google Fiber and other high-speed Internet options. But local carriers in a number of cities throughout the U.S. still don’t offer fiber services, he said. So WANRack aims to level the playing field for smaller districts that don’t have fiber.
“We go in and build it from scratch,” Oyler said. “Now a rural school district is able to offer the same types of resources as a Tier 1 city, like Chicago, New York and Kansas City.”
WANRack offers a robust and secure network, and one of the company’s biggest differentiators is bandwidth capability. Schools won’t outgrow the network because WANRack gives them the ability to increase their bandwidth when needed. It puts control in the school’s hands, unlike other carrier options, he said.
In the future, WANRack plans to expand its services to businesses in markets where it already has a presence. But for now, WANRack is focused on the education industry because it’s “an area of incredible growth right now.”
“Our vision is to be the dominant supplier of Wide Area Networks for schools nationwide,” Oyler said.
Leslie covers entrepreneurs and technology, retail, and marketing.