BuildDirect CEO Jeff Booth has been recognized by investment firm Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2016 at its fifth annual Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California.
The two-day Goldman Sachs Builders + Innovators Summit brings together entrepreneurs from a diverse set of industries, with a focus on building enduring companies “that reshape their industries and make the world better through innovation.”
“We are honoured to recognize Jeff Booth as one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2016,” said David Solomon, co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. “This is the fifth year that we’ve hosted the Builders + Innovators Summit where emerging business leaders gather to discuss their common interests in building thriving organizations.”
The recognition from Goldman Sachs caps off a year of strong growth for BuildDirect, which since its founding in 1999 has become a pioneer in adapting the heavyweight supply chain so that building supplies can be delivered from anywhere directly to the home, as well as building a unique set of predictive analytics and data tools that allow suppliers to predict demand and built an online platform connecting sellers and homeowners more directly.
“Goldman Sachs has been a remarkable champion of innovation, particularly in our space, so I am humbled to be included with this outstanding group of entrepreneurs,” said Booth. “2016 has been an exciting year for BuildDirect as we introduced our Home Marketplace, launched a new Clean Energy division, and have continued to grow our customer and partner base at a record clip.”
In September, BuildDirect, a Vancouver-based home improvement marketplace, added a Clean Energy component to its Home Marketplace, focusing on solar energy products, ranging from photovoltaic (PV) panels, inverters, full off-grid kits, batteries and other types of energy storage equipment, to make it just as easy for homeowners to order renewable energy supplies as other remodeling project home supplies, putting home owners directly in touch with suppliers, eliminating the middle man and increasing efficiency.
By plugging into BuildDirect’s shipping and logistics network, suppliers can move products into warehouses to meet demand more efficiently and cost-effectively.
In the three months after the launch of BuildDirect’s Home Marketplace in February, it grew 350%, nearly quadrupling its product count.
Home Marketplace took over a year for BuildDirect to put together, and covers the various stages of home renovation, from planning and design through to selecting products and delivery.
To develop its Clean Energy Home Marketplace, BuildDirect formed an advisory board consisting of cleantech experts, including Greg Bohl, former president and CEO of Solar Logic, and Ramez Naam, computer scientist, author, cleantech angel investor, and co-chair of the Energy and Environment program at Singularity University at NASA Ames.
The Clean Energy Home Marketplace is also well positioned to take advantage of California’s Residential ZNE Action Plan, which mandates that 100% of all new homes in California will be Zero Net Energy starting in 2020.
In the past 10 years, the hard costs of solar equipment have dropped dramatically, with the price of solar PV panels alone dropping over 70%.
Reducing soft costs associated with labour and supply chain inefficiencies is a further way to encourage widespread adoption of the technology.