Oklahoma City startup tech company grows rapidly, hires 100th employee
By Brianna Bailey
Copyright © 2016, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
After a year of rapid growth, desks have been crammed into nearly every usable corner of the startup company WeGoLook’s downtown Oklahoma City office.
The company, which specializes in on-site inspections and other field services, just hired its 100th employee and plans to hire about 30 more in the next 12 months. WeGoLook has nearly outgrown its office and is planning on expanding in the basement of the beige brick building it occupies just off Interstate 235.
“More and more transactions do happen and occur online. We are saving people travel expense,” said Robin Smith, WeGoLook CEO and co-founder.
The company uses about 26,000 “Lookers” nationwide for services ranging from vehicle inspections services to collecting field data for insurance companies.
“It’s a variety of people across the country — it’s crowd sourcing just like Uber,” said Shauna Schroder, project manager for WeGoLook.
“It’s all kinds of people from college students to retirees,” Schroder said. “It’s not really meant to be a full-time job, its supplemental income.”
Apart from being the official inspection service for eBay Motors, WeGoLook is expanding its services into things like offering notary service and collecting data for insurance claims.
“If you need to have something notarized or need a vehicle inspected so you can fund a loan, we can help you with that,” Smith said.
The company also is recruiting Lookers who are licensed drone operators, for clients that require aerial photographs or video.
“We are really an on-demand field-services company,” Smith said.
Smith and her husband, Mat Smith, got the idea for WeGoLook in 2009 after a friend was considering purchasing a high-end projector on eBay, but had trouble verifying the seller’s claims about the item.
The Oklahoma tech investment fund i2E Inc. closed on a $1.75 million Series A equity investment with WeGoLook in 2014, giving the company its first big boost.
WeGoLook has hired about 65 staff members for its Oklahoma City office and shows no signs of slowing down.
Kenneth Knoll, chief operating officer of WeGoLook, said Oklahoma actually has a pretty good pool of tech talent to help grow the company, and less competition to hire that talent.
“It’s good. We have a great talent pool here and we are not fighting with 100 other companies to hire people,” Knoll said.
Smith said she is proud to be growing the tech company in Oklahoma. Hanging in Smith’s office is the WeGoLook logo, painted onto a large piece of reclaimed wood shaped like the state of Oklahoma.
“We started here and we are going to stay here,” she said.