GlobalFair Secures New Funding to Simplify Building Materials Sourcing • TechCrunch

The building materials market is fragmented, according to world fair CEO Shaily Garg, because it involves layers of complexity in both supply chain and logistics. In a 2021 investigation for the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, the vast majority of builders said the time it takes to get materials — and the cost of materials — remain the top issues they face.

Garg posits that technology can help, which is why she started GlobalFair in 2020 with Ashish Chandra. A business-to-business startup, GlobalFair aims to simplify the sourcing of “ready-to-install” materials such as countertops, quartz countertops, cabinetry, natural stone and tile with a digital marketplace for US building 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 of Saama Capital, India Quotient, AUM Ventures and Stride Ventures. This brings the total raised by the company to $22 million following a $2 million seed round last February.

“The idea of ​​GlobalFair was something Chandra and I felt strongly about, given the fragmented nature of construction companies,” Garg said. “Around the world, global supply chain challenges are driving construction delays and labor shortages.”

Garg says she developed an interest in construction from an early age. Her family owned a quartz manufacturing business and she trained as an engineer, then worked for P&G before founding GlobalFair after working at PwC and TransUnion. Chandra is also an engineer with a background in infrastructure consulting, having worked as a director at PwC India and co-founding TrueCover, a startup creating blockchain-based insurance tools.

With GlobalFair, Garg and Chandra leveraged their technical knowledge to create a platform with predictive modeling capabilities. While the platform’s flagship product is a marketplace that connects contractors, distributors, fabricators, architects and construction companies to source materials, GlobalFair also offers a tool to automate material cost estimates. construction from architectural plans and shop drawings. Beyond that, the company hosts a material visualization app to help architects and designers anticipate how things will look when installed, as well as an automated enterprise resource planning system for – in Garg’s work – “enable rapid response time to customers and suppliers in multiple geographies”. .”

“[W]We’ve created a synchronized end-to-end supply chain from discovery to final delivery of materials to a customer’s door,” said Garg. “Our one-stop-shop platform is a transformation for supply-side manufacturing, opening up the manufacturing pockets that exist in India, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries for global markets. We aim to become the world’s largest supplier of state-of-the-art building materials, providing a simple, cost-effective and transparent cross-border sourcing experience for building contractors.

To that end, GlobalFair claims to work with “hundreds” of contractors and retail clients across the United States, particularly for multi-family and hotel projects with budgets ranging from $100 million to $500 million. Garg says GlobalFair’s customer base runs the gamut from large local manufacturers and distributors, to exporters, to retail chains buying from distributors.

Garg attributes the company’s recent success in part to the pandemic and ensuing supply chain chaos. A report from Buildertrend found that the average number of days of delays more than doubled in 2022 compared to last year – due to volatile material costs, shipping delays and labor scarcity. ‘work.

Construction tech startups have largely benefited from the tailwinds over the past two years. In the first half of 2022 alone, industry funding totaled $1.3 billion, according to Pitchbook — up 44% from H2 2021.

“COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on global production networks such that logistics costs and existing supply chains have fundamentally changed,” Garg said. “Businesses today are more concerned with the resilience of their supply chains and are therefore looking to expand their supplier networks…At GlobalFair, we disintermediate the long cross-border supply chain, directly connecting sub -contractors to suppliers.”

Garg says GlobalFair is maintaining “unit profitability” despite the current economic uncertainty, having seen “strong customer attraction and growth” between the seed and Series A rounds. The new capital will serve grow the company’s team (from around 100 people to more than 200 by mid-2023), create products and adapt GlobalFair’s technology offering to new markets, he said. she stated.

Bejul Somaia, Lightspeed Partner, shared via email: “The pandemic has created tension in supply chains across all industries, reinforcing the need for transparency, visibility and geographic diversification in global sourcing of construction products and materials. Using technology to assemble a network of manufacturing facilities across India and Southeast Asia, GlobalFair enables buyers from any country to discover new offerings in an efficient, transparent and secured.

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