Construction-software provider Bridgit has raised CDN$24 million in a Series B round that will help the Waterloo Region company hire more staff, further its product development and increase market share.
Since launching in 2014, Bridgit has raised a combined CDN$43.5 million in equity financing.
The latest funding was co-led by Camber Creek and Storm Ventures. Additional investors include Nine Four Ventures along with existing investors BDC Capital’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, StandUp Ventures, Sands Capital and Vanedge Capital.
Bridgit has grown rapidly since 2019 when it pivoted from field-oriented project-management software to its current flagship solution – a construction-staffing platform called Bench that helps general contractors manage their workforce needs and leverage project data to improve bidding and staffing decisions.
“In just over two years since launching (Bench), we’ve experienced a staggering rate of adoption by North America’s biggest general contractors like Skanska, Balfour Beatty, and Ryan Companies, among others,” CEO and co-founder Mallorie Brodie said in a news release. “This Series B funding round will fuel rapid product development and aggressive hiring, so we can continue to bring innovative solutions to the forefront of the construction industry.”
The decision to pivot to a staffing-focused product was a calculated risk aimed at creating a more stable revenue model and scaling the company, co-founder and COO Lauren Lake told Tech News in an interview.
The company’s original product was popular with construction-site managers, but Lake and Brodie soon learned that customers wanted to buy it on a project-by-project basis, not as an on-going enterprise purchase.
That preference resulted in an up-and-down revenue stream for Bridgit.
“We didn't have recurring revenue and we were constantly at the mercy of projects coming to an end, as they always do,” Lake said. “It meant that our revenue (stream) was lumpy.”
At the same time, competition for field-based project management software was heating up.
Lake and Brodie decided the time was right to switch horses. They set out to create an enterprise product that would yield recurring revenues and solve an industry challenge: helping construction companies better manage, track and assign the large number of workers needed to take on major construction projects.
“We just really wanted to maximize the chance of our company succeeding and so we had to adapt,” Lake said. “It was a difficult decision in some ways but, to us, it felt so obvious that we didn't really second guess (ourselves).”
The move appears to be paying off.
Since its last round of funding – a CDN$9.4 million raise in July 2020 – Bridgit has increased revenue by 140 per cent, onboarded 53 new customers and doubled its staff to 83 people, according to its news release.
“Bridgit gives us the ability to put the right people on the right jobs at the right time,” said Johnathon Grammer, Director of Operational Excellence at Rogers-O’Brien Construction, a Bridgit customer in Texas. “This gives us a distinct competitive edge by allowing us to put our best teams forward, while pursuing and winning bids on projects where we are positioned to be most successful.”
Along with its Series B raise, Bridgit announced that Arun Penmetsa, a Partner at Storm Ventures, and Mitchell Schear, Executive Partner at Camber Creek, will be joining the Bridgit board of directors.
Bridgit also announced the hiring of two new executives: Amy Abascal as Vice-President of Marketing and Jason Fitzpatrick as Senior Vice-President of Sales.
Founders Lauren Lake and Mallorie Brodie both attended Western University – Lake for engineering and Brodie for business – but they first met as participants in the 2013 cohort of The Next 36, a Canadian accelerator program.
Attracted to Waterloo Region by the area’s renowned tech ecosystem, the two partners were offered desk space in the Communitech Hub in Kitchener to help them get their company off the ground.
Bridgit now has its own offices in Kitchener and in Toronto, with plans for additional growth.
Lake said the Bench platform’s ability to centralize the collection, tracking and management of workforce data has the potential to provide customers with many more features and uses.
“We started with workforce planning as our first step,” she said. “There are a lot of greenfield opportunities that surround that… so lots of product development on the horizon, lots of team growth on the horizon. Ultimately, we're really tracking ourselves against how many of the leading contractors in the U.S. can we have as customers, because that's really what we're going after.”