GlobalFair secures new cash to simplify procuring construction materials • TechCrunch

The building materials market is still fragmented, according to GlobalFair CEO Shaily Garg, because it involves the complex layers of both supply chain and logistics. In 2021 survey for the National Association of Builders and Wells Fargo, the vast majority of builders say the time required to obtain the materials – and the cost of the materials – continue to be the top issues they have to deal with. face to face.

Garg thinks technology can help, which is why she launched GlobalFair in 2020 with Ashish Chandra. As an enterprise start-up, GlobalFair aims to simplify the procurement of “ready-to-install” materials such as countertops, quartz countertops, cabinets, natural stone and tiles with the marketplace. digital for US construction contractors.

GlobalFair today announced that it has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed — a mix of equity ($12 million) and debt ($8 million) — with the participation from Saama Capital, India Quotient, AUM Ventures and Stride Ventures. It brings the company’s total raised to $22 million following a $2 million seed round last February.

“The idea of ​​GlobalFair is something that Chandra and I are very excited about, given the fragmented nature of construction businesses,” says Garg. “Worldwide, challenges in the global supply chain are leading to construction delays and labor shortages.”

Garg says she developed a love of construction at an early age. Her family owns a quartz manufacturing business and she trained as an engineer, going on to work for P&G before founding GlobalFair after working at PwC and TransUnion. Chandra is also an engineer with an infrastructure consulting background, served as a director at PwC India and co-founded TrueCover, a startup that creates blockchain-based insurance tools.

With GlobalFair, Garg and Chandra drew on their engineering background to create a platform capable of predictive modeling. While the platform’s flagship product is a marketplace that connects contractors, distributors, fabricators, architects and construction companies to purchase materials, GlobalFair also provides a tool to automate estimation of building material costs from architectural plans and shop drawings. Additionally, the company hosts a material visualization app to help architects and designers predict how things might look once installed, as well as a planning system. Automated enterprise resource planning – in the works of Garg – “enables rapid response times for customers and suppliers across multiple geographies. “

“[W]e has created an end-to-end synchronized supply chain from discovery to delivery of final materials at the customer’s doorstep,” said Garg. “Our one-stop platform is transformative for supply-side manufacturing, opening up existing manufacturing areas in India, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to the global market. . We aim to be the largest technology-first global supplier of building materials, providing an easy, cost-effective and seamless cross-border shopping experience for construction contractors. “

To this end, GlobalFair claims to be working with “hundreds” of contractors and retail customers across the US, specifically for multifamily and hotel projects with budgets between 100 million and 500 millions of dollars. Garg says that GlobalFair’s customers include large manufacturers and local distributors, to exporters, to retail chains that buy from distributors.

Garg attributes the company’s recent success in part to the pandemic and subsequent supply chain turmoil. One report from Buildertrend shows that the average number of days of delay will more than double in 2022 compared to last year – due to fluctuating material costs, backlog shipping and scarce labor.

Startups in the construction technology sector have widely benefited from the difficulties of the past two years. In the first half of 2022 alone, funding in this area totaled $1.3 billion, follow to Pitchbook – up 44% compared to H2 2021.

“COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on global production networks, so current logistics and supply chain costs have fundamentally changed,” Garg said. “Businesses today are more worried about the resilience of their supply chains and are therefore looking to expand their supplier networks… At GlobalFair, we are not intermediating cross-border supply chains. world, connecting contractors directly with suppliers.”

Garg claims that GlobalFair is maintaining “unit profit” despite the current uncertain economic situation, which has seen “strong customer growth and drag” between the seed round and Series A. The new capital will be put in, she said, to grow the company’s team (from about 100 people to more than 200 people by mid-2023), build products, and expand GlobalFair’s technology offering to other markets. new school.

Lightspeed partner Bejul Somaia shared via email: “The pandemic has created tension in supply chains across industries, heightening the need for transparency, visibility, and geographic diversification in shipping. global procurement of construction products and building materials. By using technology to bring together its network of manufacturing facilities across India and Southeast Asia, GlobalFair enables buyers in any country to discover new supplies in an efficient electronics marketplace, transparent and secure. “


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