RenoRun, a construction material delivery service, has raised US$17.1 million (CA$22.5 million) in Series A funding co-led by Inovia Capital and Obvious Ventures.
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ScaleUP Ventures, Real Ventures, Maple VC, and Silicon Valley Bank also participated in the financing. It comes on the heels of a $3 million seed round that was raised from Real Ventures and ScaleUP Ventures in July, bringing its total raised to more than $20 million.
Through its “builder-friendly,” data-driven app, Montreal, Quebec-based RenoRun says its goal is to save contractors time and money by planning, sourcing and delivering scheduled or “just-in-time” building supplies and materials directly to a jobsite “in as little as two hours.”
Launched by builder veterans in 2017, RenoRun says that over 20,000 materials can be found via its app.
Its goal is to improve upon a system which mainly sees builders planning material delivery in advance from multiple suppliers. If they come across an unforeseen material shortage, they then “have to waste time and money sending an employee offsite to make urgent purchases,” the company says. RenoRun instead, the startup claims, gives contractors a way to order materials from just one supplier.
“One of the costliest factors on a jobsite is a loss of efficiency,” said Eamonn O’Rourke, CEO and co-founder of RenoRun. “Running out of materials not only affects the build itself, but it also puts the crew down a worker when someone has to go buy more lumber, drywall or other materials. We created RenoRun to put an end to this age-old problem.”
The company plans to use the new capital to help scale its business in each of the cities that it operates, as well as to do more hiring.
If you look at its customer and employee numbers, RenoRun has been growing. It says it’s seen “more than 300 percent customer growth” over the past 12 months (although it would not say how many customers it actually has.) It’s also grown from seven to 90 employees in the past 10 months. The company prides itself on the fact that women hold two of five of the company’s executive positions as well as two of four board member roles.
Obvious Ventures’ Andrew Beebe says his firm has “seen a passion, transparency and dedication from Eamonn and his team that’s already having an outsized impact for the general contractor community.”
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the construction industry provides more than 7 million jobs and nearly $1.3 trillion in structures each year, and GlobalData estimates the industry will reach $304.6 billion in Canada by 2023 (measured at constant 2017 US dollar exchange rates) while global numbers could rise to nearly $13 trillion by 2022. Plus, there’s very much a shortage of construction industry workers in many major markets.
“Digitization is the future of the construction industry,” said RenoRun’s O’Rourke, who worked for more than two decades in the construction sector in Ireland, Australia, Canada and the U.S.
Currently, the company is delivering materials in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal, as well as in Austin, Texas. It does plan to expand geographically in 2020 but didn’t offer specifics other than saying it was expanding its “cities in North America.”
In other construction tech news, Santa Monica-based BuildOps, a startup that aims to provide an “all-in-one field service and business process software platform for small and medium-sized subcontractors in the commercial real estate industry,” announced last Friday that it raised $5.8 million in two tranches of its seed round.
BuildOps’ (rather long) list of investors include Fika Ventures, MetaProp VC, Global Founders Capital, CrossCut Ventures, TenOneTen, IGSB, 1984 Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures (former professional football player Joe Montana’s venture capital firm), GroundUp, NBA veteran Metta World Peace, Oberndorf Enterprises, Wolfson Group, and Sequoia scouts.
The company says its subscription software for commercial subcontractors “provides seamless communication between a firm’s field technicians and back office.”
In a statement, Montana noted that his firm (Liquid 2 Ventures) has an investment thesis in supporting America’s working class.
“I just love the idea of making their lives far easier and better,” he said. With BuildOps, “you have one solution that does it all and talks seamlessly to every single part of their business from parts to ordering to inventory and more.”
We’ve reported extensively on how funding and consolidation in the construction tech space has surged in recent years. Read more on that topic here, here and here.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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