Money makes the world go around, some say. Relationships make the world go around say others. Combine the two and you can get dizzy going around and around. In technology, though, the combination of funding and partnerships does, indeed, make things happen.
Construction, being a niche market, often draws less interest from general software companies, leaving the field to the specialists. Once a product has been proven, however, general investors will come aboard, and like-minded technology companies will sign on as partners or integrators.
Take StructionSite, as an example. The company is a provider of intelligent project tracking software for construction and recently announced $10 million in funding that includes new institutional capital from 500 Global as well as strategic investments from PCL Construction and GS Futures. The new funds will be used to expand StructionSite’s platform capabilities and extend its position in the market.
The company also announced its latest partner integration with Latium Technologies. StructionSite’s project tracking data can now be seamlessly incorporated into Latium’s Job Site Insights Smart Construction platform. The integration with Latium brings StructionSite’s project tracking capabilities, as well as photo and video site documentation, into the Latium’s smart construction platform, Job Site Insights, to power the “smart jobsite” of the future.
StructionSite provides workflows that combine decades of jobsite knowledge with state-of-the-art AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities. In addition to its current photo and video site documentation capabilities, StructionSite has developed technology to help specialty and self-perform contractors automate production tracking to drive even more efficiency for the industry.
StructionSite is also the most open platform in the space, believing that partner integration is the key to successful innovation across the construction industry. By working with a number of technology partners, including Autodesk, NewMetrix, and others, along with document management systems like Dropbox and Box, StructionSite ensures that systems function
Since launching its platform in 2017, customers have used StructionSite technology to capture over $190 billion of construction volume, providing them with documentation and insights related to both progress and quality. Builders looking for a competitive edge are turning to StructionSite to increase profitability and overall efficiency of their project teams, which has spurred rapid customer adoption and 3x year-over-year growth in active projects.
In 2021, Billdr, a market network for the home renovation industry, announced it closed a seed round of $3.2 million to support the company’s regional growth ambitions and further develop Billdr’s technology. One Way Ventures led this investment round with participation from Quebecor through asterX Capital, Kima Ventures, Goodwater Capital, Moving Capital and Simple Capital, with angel investors from Uber and Shopify.
Billdr works to make home renovations simple, transparent, and efficient for homeowners and general contractors by covering all aspects of the home renovation process. With a unique value proposition that goes beyond simple matching with a certified contractor, Billdr accompanies homeowners from development and review of architectural and engineering plans and detailed cost estimates to selecting a certified contractor and complete project management until the completion of the project.
Beyond consumer services, Billdr has grown to service general contractors’ businesses with an integrated mobile application. This application brings together pre-qualified projects and a suite of technological tools to simplify the administrative burden attached to growing residential construction businesses. Not only does Billdr’s application find qualified customers, but it also aids in quoting projects, manages homeowners’ requests and questions, and facilitates payment processing, allowing for contractors to provide top-quality services.
Partnerships in the construction field also extend beyond technology companies. Non-profit organization BTF (Building Talent Foundation) announced a collaboration with the Lennar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lennar Corp., one of America’s largest homebuilders. Lennar Foundation will donate $2 million over two years and the organizations will work together to empower unemployed youth at risk and adults with barriers to employment to acquire highly sought-after job skills and find career opportunities in the construction industry.
The primary purpose of the Lennar Foundation is to change lives by providing avenues for a diverse group of underserved persons to enter or re-enter mainstream society. The Foundation helps high school dropouts, high school graduates, returning veterans, unhoused individuals, kids in foster care, kids in the juvenile justice system, and adults returning from serving time for nonviolent crimes by funding various construction skills certification programs.
Many of the programs that BTF is involved in support the trades. For example, like many employers in the residential construction industry, painting contractors struggle to fill job openings with well-qualified talent. To help people acquire and sharpen their skills, PCA (Painting Contractors Assn.), a trade association committed to elevating the expertise, reputation, and trust of painting contractors, has developed an online library of training videos, which will also be promoted on BTF’s careers website, JobsToBuild, adding to the selection of training resources available through the platform.
BTF also has a strategic collaboration with M.T. Copeland Technologies, a training platform for the skilled and building trades. The partnership is designed to advance career opportunities for individuals in residential construction by leveraging the combination of BTF’s career coaching and job placement assistance and M.T. Copeland’s online courses.
BTF was established in 2019 by Leading Builders of America, an association of the 20 largest homebuilders, including Lennar. In its ten markets across Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, BTF supports young people and people from underrepresented groups with career coaching and job search assistance towards rewarding careers in homebuilding.
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