BuildDirect Closes $50 Million Financing and Unveils Its Home Marketplace Platform
December 10, 2014, Vancouver, Canada – BuildDirect, a technology company that is building a simpler, trusted and efficient home improvement industry, today announced it has closed $50 million CAD in financing from a blend of new and existing US and Canadian investors including Mohr Davidow Ventures, OMERS Ventures and BMO Asset Management. The investment will be used to rapidly expand and scale the technology for the company’s Home Marketplace, a community-based technology platform that creates a one-stop solution directly connecting buyers (consumers and subcontractors) with sellers (product manufacturers, designers, trades and shippers).
“This commitment from investors is a strong signal for the support and belief in BuildDirect’s unique approach to technology, data analytics, logistics and our ability to rebuild a broken home improvement industry,” says Jeff Booth, CEO and co-founder of BuildDirect. “Our investment into technology enables us to accelerate the change we are bringing to the industry. We will continue to scale at an incredibly fast pace to meet the increasing demand of sellers wanting to access our platform to directly connect with the growing wave of buyers coming to BuildDirect seeking the best selection, price and service for all of their home improvement needs.”
BuildDirect’s Home Marketplace is about using technology to open a world of possibilities for both buyers and sellers, and delivers on an experience that is based on how someone participates in any given moment. For buyers, it’s a simple and trusted experience with an intuitive, end-to-end discovery from ideas to delivery – a one-stop solution for all home improvement, renovation and building needs. “For sellers, it’s about liquidity and growth not seen in the home improvement industry today,” adds Booth. “Our advanced analytical and forecasting tools send a real-time signal to sellers directly connecting them to buyer demand and interest so they can respond with speed and accuracy around inventory type and size, overall product or service offerings and market placement. Connecting the right goods or service to the right demand equals fast and efficient transactions.”
“This financing underscores the speed at which old-world industries are breaking down and platform companies that leverage cutting-edge technology and data analytics, like BuildDirect, are putting the power in the hands of both the supply and demand side,” says Katherine Barr, General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures. “Home improvement is a half-trillion dollar industry and is severely fragmented and inefficient. BuildDirect is disrupting the existing supply chain in this industry and building a completely new, highly efficient and smart system that suppliers and consumers alike will benefit from tremendously in terms of manufacturing and distribution efficiencies for suppliers, and lower cost for high quality products and a much improved user experience for consumers.”
Growth for BuildDirect’s Home Marketplace has three core focus areas:
1. Analytics: BuildDirect’s advanced analytical and forecasting tools enable the Company to directly connect consumers and sellers to identify product trends and market opportunities unlike any other company in the home improvement industry. The Company’s BuildDirect Demand Rank™ and BuildDirect Product Rank™ proprietary tools provide sellers with a real-time signal on consumer interest in a product or service, its competitiveness in the marketplace, and locations it will best perform. “The new Home Marketplace will provide sellers a dashboard to help them optimize their business,” says Booth. “Sellers will be able to conduct “what if” scenario modeling around price projections should they want to move or change inventory size as well as increase margin or market share.”
2. Choice: Our Home Marketplace is a self-serve, flexible and open platform. For sellers, investment into technology accelerates the speed in which they can directly connect to consumers, regardless of their size, scope or where they are located around the globe. Today, sellers can choose from a variety of fulfillment capabilities such as ocean logistics, online merchandising, warehousing and inventory management to last-mile delivery. As a result, consumers have increased choice of products and services impossible to find under one roof, with quality and product and/or service experiences shared and validated by the community. “Investing into technology rapidly scales our ability to bring on products fast enough to meet our ever increasing demand,” adds Booth.
3. Delivery: Our Home Marketplace enables a world-class delivery experience that is predicable, accurate and cost-effective. For sellers, it means decreased freight costs from their location, to a local warehouse, and, ultimately, to the buyer. For buyers, it means getting large, heavyweight items to their home or project site with no more fuss or effort than ordering a pizza, and at a cost they can’t beat. Backed by a rating system, shippers are ranked for their service with transparent feedback and reviews. “We are making heavyweight delivery as simple as it is for lightweight products, like books,” adds Booth. “Reducing the cost of freight for heavyweight items is an immediate focus area with better add-on service options like same day and inside delivery.”
“When I co-founded BuildDirect with Rob Banks, co-founder and Executive Officer, we were told by many that the industry was too large and complex to fix,” says Booth. “Buyers are controlled by the existing channel and told what they can buy which causes all sorts of pain like limited product selection, poor price or quality and inconsistent timeliness of delivery. On the other side, sellers are controlled by the existing channel and told what they can offer and how they can enter the market. We don’t believe anyone should be held back. By empowering both buyers and sellers to connect their own way, we are opening a world of possibilities.”
BuildDirect has been delivering on the promise of disrupting the home improvement industry by building a new way to directly connect consumers to manufacturers. With its new Home Marketplace, a community-based platform, the company is working to open a world of possibilities through an online, central meeting spot where people can directly engage with any one person or company that can help with their home improvement, renovation or building needs – from product manufacturers, designers, trades and shippers – through the exchange of ideas, products or services. With technology as its foundation, BuildDirect’s custom analytical and forecasting tools identify in real-time, consumer interest in a product, its competitiveness in the marketplace, and locations it will best perform. This creates more effective manufacturing outputs and the improved ability to offer customers savings of up to 80 per cent without suppliers sacrificing margins and ability to deliver on quality. The company’s commitment to customer service – backed with free samples, access to product experts and free return guarantee, provides an online shopping experience for heavyweight home improvement products like none other. BuildDirect is headquartered in Vancouver, BC with warehouses located throughout North America. For more information, visit www.BuildDirect.com.
About Mohr Davidow Ventures
For 30 years the Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV) team has invested in early stage technology-based startups that redefine or create large new markets. The Firm partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build companies where big data, applied analytics, and the reach and power of the web/mobile cloud can be leveraged to drive emerging opportunities in verticals ranging from social commerce to finance to online marketing and consumer-driven healthcare. Leading companies funded by MDV include: Agile (acq. NYSE: ORCL); Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD); BuildDirect; Coupa; HealthTap; Hotchalk; Infusionsoft; Kabbage; Proofpoint (NYSE: PFPT); Rally Software (NYSE: RALY); Rambus (NASDAQ: RMBS); Retention Science; Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ: FUEL); Ruby Ribbon; Shutterfly (NASDAQ: SFLY); Ticketfly; Visible Measures; and WorkFusion. For more information, visit www.mdv.com.