BuildDirect today announced it has raised $50 million from new and existing US and Canadian investors including Mohr Davidow Ventures, OMERS Ventures, and BMO Capital Markets. The company says it will use the money to expand its Home Marketplace, a platform that connects buyers and seller of heavy consumer goods and building materials.
The Vancouver-based BuildDirect is sometimes referred to as the “Amazon of building supplies” because it stands as a viable online challenger to traditional retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes, whose growth has stalled. The company built a logistical network that operates outside traditional couriers, who cannot handle items that are above a certain weight. The experience of building such a network almost bankrupted the decade-and-a-half company on more than one occasion, but today it stands as one of the country’s most highly regarded techs, with revenue that is rumoured to be soaring.
Mohr Davidow’s Katherine Barr, who counts retail and ecommerce amongst her area of expertise, said BuildDirect is a true disruptor.
“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,” she said. “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.”
Today’s financing brings the total BuildDirect has raised to $96-million. The company completed a $30-million Series B in January, adding to a $16-million raise with OMERS Ventures in 2013. Other investors in the company include BDC Venture Capital and Difference Capital.
CEO Jeff Booth said the company plans to shake up the building supply business, a segment he has in the past noted has been slow to employ technology.
“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,” said Booth. “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 and building needs.”