With the pandemic affecting every aspect of life and industry, it comes as no surprise that digitization is rapidly emerging. Construction suppliers are increasingly under the same pressure to perform as other industries. We have seen the rise of companies like Dozer, Reno Run, and Toolbox trying to address this, but often the model is more of vertical integration than more open. Even so, it is still true that construction companies have to negotiate every time to order concrete or brick and keep records at the same time.
This is the argument of Brokerage, which calls itself the “Shopify of Construction”.
The startup now has a $ 3 million seed funding round led by Xploration Capital. The startup graduated from Y Combinator’s winter cohort last year. Other strategic investors are Ronald Richardson, Avlok Kohli (CEO of AngeLlist Ventures) and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF). The funding will be used to expand into North American and European markets. Brokrete has also launched an e-commerce platform for suppliers in the construction industry called Storefront.
Jordan Latourelle, Company Founder and CEO, said, “Building is now a largely offline $ 1.2 trillion market where traditional commerce is the norm. Brokrete’s storefront product equips suppliers with the tools they need to improve their operations by orders of magnitude. I started Brokrete after seeing an industry being left behind by ecommerce giants. Now we are becoming the operating system for e-commerce in the construction industry, while remaining simple and affordable. “
Brokrete says its platform is code free, white label, multi-channel and industry specific to sell and manage orders online. Suppliers receive an iOS and Android app for e-commerce to receive offline orders from more “traditional” customers. It then offers order management, payouts, shipping, logistics and delivery in real time. There are also financial and operational ERP integrations. Brokrete claims to work with 1000+ contractors and has a network of 250+ suppliers.
Latourelle told me: “We are giving the construction industry the opportunity to use Shopify and set up their own shop. It’s like a brand showcase for suppliers. “
Eugene Timko, Managing Partner at Xploration Capital, said: “The construction industry is one of the few remaining large industries with largely non-digitized supply chains. Historically, the main problem has been the lack of real-time access to actual inventory, which has prevented manufacturers and distributors from going online. With Brokrete’s end-to-end solution, these companies can now not only sell through Brokrete’s marketplace, but also activate their own direct online channels. Similar to Shopify, this has enabled many thousands of previously offline businesses to take orders online. “