After completing business school, Jeff Borden wanted to start a business that wasn’t overly complex or difficult to operate. Being a cyclist, he went into the bike parts business, selling products both offline and online. While operating the business, he noticed how price wars began to erode the brands the dealers carried, as well as the reputation of the dealers themselves. Feeling this pain firsthand as a retailer, Borden sought to counter that influence, and out of this sense of fairness arose BPA, one of 5 companies in Tech Wildcatters inaugural class.
BPA’s SaaS solution allows clients to gather and manage advertised retail pricing in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost, and strives to help companies maintain the equity and value of their brands, rather than be forced to compete on price. While he hears that the flexibility, power, and ease-of-use of his solution sets it far apart from competitors, another challenge seems to be looming, considering the news that ICANN’s rewriting of the rules for web addresses is set to take place in the next couple of years. With these rule changes, more players are sure to appear in the online space. The expansion of global top-level domain (GTLD) registration might be too tempting for cybersquatters to resist, leading them to reserve GLTDs such as .pepsi, .ford, or .walmart. BPA and its clients will have to monitor this closely, and be ready to adjust their strategies accordingly.
Borden is fortunate enough to have not made any significant business decisions that he regrets — although he has had his share of people trying to tell him what he should do next, whether it be new features or new market opportunities. So Borden’s lesson is to channel, or focus, your efforts on what you think is best, and don’t always let peripheral players influence you.
BPA is poised to enter another fundraising round shortly, and will use the capital to grow quickly and aim to be a market leader.