Formwork Labs, a new construction tech accelerator programme in the US
In the US, Brick & Mortar Ventures investment fund has recently teamed up with BuiltWorlds to launch an early-stage acceleration programme called Formwork Labs.
Brick & Mortar Ventures is a construction tech venture capital firm founded by Darren Bechtel, whose family owns America’s largest construction company, Bechtel Group. Meanwhile, Builtworlds is a network of buildings and infrastructure professionals. In total, the two entities have already invested in around 40 construction tech-related start-ups over the past 10 years.
With Formwork Labs, the two partners want to support start-up founders in the field of construction tech, to help them get started and convince their first investors, partners and early customers. They’re also looking to operate in a way directly inspired by the generalist accelerator Y Combinator, which has become a model for supporting start-up entrepreneurs.
Formwork Labs will initially host five pre-seed companies, who will participate in an intensive 10-week acceleration programme. During the programme, industry experts and former entrepreneurs in the architecture, engineering and construction sectors will provide participants with guidance and mentorship. Each company will also receive $75,000 in funding to spend as they decide, in return for 5% equity in the company. At the end of the programme, start-ups will present their products at the BuiltWorlds 2022 America’s Summit in September 2022.
1Sharpe Ventures launches new $90 million proptech seed fund
American investors’ appetite for the proptech and construction tech sectors is undeniable. Just take the investment fund 1Sharpe Ventures, based in Oakland, California, which recently announced the closing of its $90 million inaugural fund.
Created by Gregor Watson, the co-founder and president of Roofstock (a proptech valued at nearly $2 billion) and real estate investor Rob Bloemker, 1Sharpe Ventures wants to invest in 30 to 40 start-ups in the construction and real estate sector. Investments will range from $500,000 to $2 million, for pre-seed and Series A-stage companies.
However, its scope is not limited to North America, as 1SharpeVentures is also exploring opportunities in Latin America and Europe. Five investments have already been made, including Cottage and Flockhome in the US, as well as a Brazilian fintech that’s currently being launched.
Toulouse-based startup Eldo raises €6 million to expand its marketplace for construction professionals in Europe
In France, the startup Eldo raised €6 million in May 2022 from Sofiouest and Grand Sud Ouest Capital, plus investments from early shareholders including Irdi and M Capital, as well as from its industrial clients, Groupe Weckand Unikalo. Created in Toulouse in 2017 going by the name EldoTravo.fr, this marketplace lists building professionals by location and profession. More than 100,000 reviews and construction site photos help users choose their service providers.
Since its fundraising, Eldo has announced the acquisition of PerfoWeb (the French leader in lead management for the construction industry) and its SaaS solution Oplead. With the software already deployed in more than 20 countries – two thirds of which in Europe, Eldo now supports more than 80 brands and 10,000 building professionals who use its solutions.
Thanks to this fundraising and targeted acquisitions such as PerfoWeb, Eldo is looking to accelerate its development in Europe, to become the reference tool for construction professionals and networks in this territory.
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