KITCHENER — With a $2-million investment from a Toronto-based fund that helps women entrepreneurs, the startup Bridgit plans to further develop a new product for its mobile platform for construction managers.
Stand Up Ventures and MaRS IAF led this round of investment in the company launched by co-founders Lauren Lake and Mallorie Brodie in 2014.
“We are obviously very happy to be one of their first investments,” said Brodie.
Bridgit employs 34 at its office at 100 Ahrens St. W. in Kitchener and is hiring.
It will use the new investment to further develop a new product that evaluates data from clients, and alerts them to trends on construction sites that will cause more delays and cost overruns.
That new product, called Project Insights, was launched earlier this year, but there is potential to expand it, providing details in real time to help construction managers.
Bridgit is all about “the punch list”— the list of work by subcontractors that was not done properly and must be corrected as soon as possible.
Maybe the work was sloppy, or the materials were incorrect or there were delays in getting supplies to the site. There is a complex sequence to the work on construction projects, and the punch list must be cleared in each phase.
“We are looking to double down in that area, and then ensure that any new module we launch is also feeding back into Project Insights to give teams even more data and numbers to help them make their decisions,” said Brodie.
The longer the punch list, the bigger the disruption to the orderly progression of work on a construction site. Bridgit’s platform helps construction managers identify what needs to be fixed, assign the work, and track it. Photos of problems, and later photos of complete work are shared using the app.
Project Insights uses data analytics to provide detailed information about that process. Construction managers typically hold a weekly meeting on-site. If it was taking seven days to clear a punch list before, and now it is taking twice that long, everyone will know about it right away with Project Insights.
“That will then give them the information to go back to all their subcontractors, go back to their team and really figure out why it is taking longer,” said Brodie.
“Is the bottleneck on the subcontractor’s side? Is it the internal team not approving the work?” she said.
Bridgit’s customers are evenly split between Canada and the United States. Its mobile platform is being used in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Miami and San Francisco. Locally, Momentum Partnership uses Bridgit’s platform on its condo projects.
In April 2016, Bridgit announced a $2.2 million investment, led by Hyde Park Venture Partners with participation from Vanedge Capital. The latest investment from MaRS IAF and Stand Up Ventures came together during the past couple of months.
“I think that is due to the fact we have been able to know a lot of these different investors,” said Brodie. “The relationship had already been built essentially, so that allowed things to come together really quickly.”