Mukwonago-based Gearbox Express LLC has raised a $1.5 million round of funding, which it expects will close by the end of this week.
[caption id="attachment_145480" align="alignright" width="334"] Gearbox Express rebuilds gearboxes for wind turbines.[/caption]
The company filed a notice of exempt offering of securities with the SEC yesterday indicating the round was launched July 22 and that $450,000 had been raised from two investors. Reached today, chief executive officer Bruce Neumiller said the additional funds have been raised and are all due to arrive by the end of the week.
Neumiller declined to say how many investors contributed to the round. The minimum investment was $150,000. The company will use the funds for working capital and inventory, he said.
Gearbox Express, which rebuilds eight to 10 wind turbine gearboxes per month for the wind energy industry, has 30 employees. Within the next month, the company will have hired about seven new employees this year, Neumiller said.
“We do an exchange model here, so we have finished gearboxes on the floor and then we ship from stock and we get a core back and we rebuild it and we put it in our inventory,” he said.
The company is growing rapidly and has already filled the 80,000-square-foot facility it moved into in March. Gearbox will undertake a 30,000-square-foot expansion within the next couple of years to accommodate its growth, Neumiller said. He declined to disclose the company's annual revenue.
Gearbox’s growth is being driven by the expansion of the wind energy market, he said. There are now 50,000 wind turbines installed in North America, and Neumiller expects it will be 100,000 within five years.
“Wind power has become much more cost effective, so there’s more investment going in,” he said. “(Turbines are) getting older and they’re failing at an increasing rate.”