So far this year, technology geared to support the real estate and property industries has received more than $9 billion in funding. News that Canadian startup CostCertified has raised $8.5 million is just the latest in a tranche of key investments in the sector. Only this one reveals how solving big time headaches is best accomplished. Practically, from hard won experience.
I was reading this morning about how novel ideas like building on the planet Mars equates to real value here on planet Earth. Where Proptech and investment ideas are concerned, the way concrete cures on other planets is really something that can generate profits right here on our own planet. Who could imagine how Martian concrete development could affect the property industry here? Well, Graphene-strengthened concrete is a building innovation Earth builders will soon employ because it’s 100 times stronger than steel, but is highly conductive and impermeable to most gases and liquids. Or, fit for Mars. Interesting, huh? And practical, yes? Practicality, that’s it! A key to startup success.
So, learning that real-time, interactive residential construction estimation via CostCertified is a value coming into being, it’s just a natural progression of expanding property technology entrepreneurship. It also comes as no surprise that the leading funder FUSE, is a venture firm run by the likes of former Microsoft CFO John Connors and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner as venture partners, led the round. Y Combinator, I2BF Global Ventures, Soma Capital and other construction/tech investors also put their money where their interests are.
CostCertified’s first external round of funding is there for one reason, though. The mission of this Calgary startup is to become the “Amazon of Construction,” an interactive shopping tool that allows builders and stakeholders to price the stuff that goes into building instantly. I can only imagine what the do-it-yourself home builders out there will do with such capability. At the supplier end, this is a real Bonanza for end profits, cost efficiency, and so on.
The platform lets contractors send a shoppable interactive estimate to homeowners, which not only solidifies the supply chain, but allows the end consumer to have real-time input. And as a former builder, I know this means a lot less stress and headache throughout the construction process. From the homeowner standpoint, seeing your options and specific choices, and the interactive end product, will remove a lot of pain and worry, not to mention cost overruns. CEO Mike Bignold, who’s a former construction business owner, told TechCrunch recently about how he came to envision CostCertified:
“I ended up booking a pretty large project. And I hired a really great project manager who was really good with construction but not comfortable at all with tech. And that job ended up getting delayed as a result.”
What he and David Vass ended up creating was a quoting engine to let contractors provide consumers with “an interactive, shoppable experience,” that could be used while managing a project. Their end vision looks Amazon-like, or similar to a Shopify experience.
CostCertified is an SaaS platform only recently out of beta testing phase. The company says they have seen 2,203% YoY growth, so far. The platform lets users choose things like countertops or windows, and to do things like upgrade or downgrade, with real-time prices revealed instantly. The tool is a workflow dream if you were ever a building materials requisition supervisor. Cost, risk, and overall headache are just turned to relative vapor with this tech tool. Justifying costs, and the overall transparency that has been lacking in the construction industry, disappear as well.
According to CostCertified’s press, the company has a team of 25 people now, but plans on expanding by over a hundred in the coming months. I am impressed, to be honest, that in an avalanche of PropTech funding announcements, there’s at least one coming from people in my former business, who set out to fix a huge headache for builders and buyers. This one will blow big, in my opinion.