CostCertified, a Canadian startup which offers real-time, interactive residential development estimates, raised $8.45 million in a seed spherical of funding.
FUSE, a Pacific Northwest enterprise agency which counts former Microsoft CFO John Connors and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner as enterprise companions, led the spherical.
The corporate can also be backed by Y Combinator (having participated within the accelerator’s S21 batch), I2BF World Ventures, Soma Capital and various proptech/development tech founders corresponding to Willy Schlacks, CEO and co-founder of EquipmentShare; Ryan Sutton-Gee, PlanGrid co-founder and former COO; Jonathan Wasserstrum, co-founder and CEO of SquareFoot and Invoice Smith, founder and CEO of Touchdown.
The elevate marks CostCertified’s first exterior spherical of funding.
Put merely, CostCertified right this moment is a worth configurator instrument for development, however the Calgary, Alberta-based firm’s finish purpose is to construct the “Amazon for development.” CostCertified permits contractors to ship a shoppable interactive estimate to owners in order that they will select their choices throughout a challenge, and see the impact on worth immediately. In the event you’ve ever carried out a house reworking challenge, you’d perceive that that is one thing that may be extremely helpful contemplating all the assorted selections required round distributors and merchandise. With the ability to see your choices and the way particular decisions will influence your finish value in a single place can definitely assist make the challenge much less traumatic.
CEO Mike Bignold teamed up with David Vass to start out CostCertified in 2017 after operating his personal development enterprise and realizing the necessity for contractors to supply estimates in a extra fashionable means.
“I ended up reserving a pretty big challenge. And I employed a extremely nice challenge supervisor who was actually good with development however not snug in any respect with tech,” Bignold recollects. “And that job ended up getting delayed in consequence.”
Bignold, who did some coding throughout faculty, put collectively a easy prototype of an app that generated a doc with an estimate of challenge prices that was despatched out by way of e mail to potential prospects. Primarily, he had constructed a quoting engine that gave contractors a means to supply customers with “an interactive, shoppable expertise” whereas managing a challenge.
As a contractor, I didn’t have the instruments to help the worth complexity of a giant development challenge.” Bignold stated. “I assumed to myself, ‘Why can’t you purchase or promote development providers with the comfort of an Amazon-like, or Shopify, expertise.”
In 2017, he ended up promoting his development enterprise with the intention of spinning out the app he had constructed into its firm. He teamed up with Vass, who had helped him get that contracting enterprise “to the highest of Google.”
A few of Vass’s different contracting shoppers have been in search of a system much like what Bignold had constructed so the pair received beta prospects to make use of the app, and turn out to be early adopters.
“I don’t assume I noticed the advanced issues that I used to be moving into fixing for big development firms,” he advised FiratNews.
The pair spent a number of years on R&D, iterating the app “again and again, listening to prospects always.”
“There have been massive structural issues within the trade that we have been attempting to resolve for,” Bignold stated.
The SaaS platform got here out of beta in early 2021, and right this moment, CostCertified has $72 million in annualized GMV, and says it has seen 2,203% YoY progress (albeit it from a small base).
Customers can do issues like choose their finishes, improve, downgrade, and construct their very own renovation or or new development with real-time worth adjustments.
The software program additionally permits built-in financing and funds that CostCertified says automates workflow and finally, reduces the associated fee and threat for everybody concerned within the such initiatives — from basic contractors to subcontractors to the customers.
“We leveraged our capabilities by bringing retailers, the individuals who promote issues like counter tops and plumbing fixtures, into the purpose of sale,” Bignold stated. “By bringing all choices to the POS, prospects know precisely what they’re getting and what it can value. The contractor may make more cash on upgrades and justify the associated fee.”
At this time, CostCertified has a workforce of 25 and it plans to make use of its new capital partially to extend its headcount by over 100 folks over the following 12 months and on product growth, gross sales and progress.
FUSE’s Brendan Wales stated his agency was impressed with the CostCertified workforce’s “deep degree of expertise inside the house renovation market.”
“They’ve lived the ache of being a contractor and constructed the product for themselves. The product is powerful and totally featured for its stage; the product is way higher than seed stage,” he wrote by way of e mail. “The purchasers love the product and that may be seen within the month-to-month emblem progress, which is compounding. Lastly, they’re taking part in inside a big international market and there are a lot of methods to monetize this viewers than simply SaaS charges.”
One other distinctive factor concerning the startup, he stated, is that almost all renovation software program distributors usually solely take into consideration how the contractors will use the product.
“CostCertified has put the contractor’s buyer to the forefront,” he wrote. “They permit the tip customers of the renovation providers to have a extra dynamic and clear service, extra akin to an exquisite e-commerce expertise, than a development buy.”