From U.S. Army attorney to entrepreneur, Russell Guilfoile is launching a professional services marketplace.
Based out of Apex, Rbundle (pronounced ‘Rebundle’) quickly connects businesses with providers of professional services and simplifies the Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Businesses save time and money and remain anonymous until they engage with providers.
Founder and CEO Guilfoile said the main focus of the marketplace is to encourage lower costs for businesses soliciting professional services. This includes tax, audit, legal, IT, cyber security and business consulting.
The startup participated in the Spring 2023 cohort of CED’s GRO Incubator by. Other local participating startups include GxPaaS, Reed Ag Solutions and Solib Solutions. [Note: We wrote about last Thursday’s Demo Day.]
Rbundle allows professional service providers to easily complete multiple RFPs simultaneously, which also gives businesses on the other “side” of the platform a wider selection of service providers. This helps ensure businesses get the best price and fit.
Guilfoile likes to use the analogy of the Common App used by many colleges.
Before, to apply to five colleges, you had to fill out five applications, he said, and there was limited overlap with different essays and short answer questions. The Common App now makes it easier to apply to multiple schools with one application.
“RBundle is creating a common RFP for each service,” he said.
Another feature is service discovery, where the platform recommends services that could benefit businesses based on inputted information. Guilfoile said their go-to-market strategy is learning the service needs of businesses and what they currently use.
Guilfoile entered the world of CPA and private sector professional services after serving four years in the JAG (Judge Advocate General’s) Corps branch of the U.S. Army. He also has a Master of Accounting degree from UNC Kenan-Flagler.
He was baffled as to why the RFP process had remained unchanged for so long given how slow, redundant, and inefficient it was. Naturally, he looked for ways to automate the process.
This sparked what would later become Rbundle.
“It (came) from a place of seeing an opportunity based on inefficiency,” Guilfoile said.
Value Proposition for Service Providers
On the Rbundle platform, the bare minimum information needed to prepare a proposal is visible, such as location, assets and liabilities. Because there is no business name visible, providers cannot up-sell.
That brings us to the question: why would professional service providers use the marketplace?
First, Guilfoile said, “if that’s where the fish are, they’re gonna fish,” and second, providers will ultimately save some of the time and money they’re spending on lead generation and sales funnel.
“The Rbundle value proposition for them is that all you have to do is subscribe… and you start getting requests for proposals,” Guilfoile said. “You don’t have to do anything else.”
The platform is free to businesses, but providers have two options: a subscription model based on each service (meaning the price varies for each service) or a percent of engagement model.
Guilfoile said he imagines the latter will be more popular. When a provider wins an engagement, RBundle would take a percentage of that.
“We don’t make money unless they make money on that model,” he said. “I’m trying to give the providers options that work best for their business models.”
By the end of the year, Guilfoile hopes to have a platform that generates revenue and generates RFPs for companies, as well as getting them approvals they are satisfied with.