Melbourne start up Matrak has developed a construction tool that could soon be worth billions.
The new software-as-a-service technology tracks manufacturing materials for construction sites. It was started by two Melbourne brothers, Shane and Brett Hodgkins, while they were working in their family window installation business.
Matrak has just raised $3 million in convertible note funding, which was six times higher than their original goal of $500,000.
The funding round commenced after several of Matrak’s investors asked to pour more money into the venture.
Investors include construction company Hickory Group International, and Australian venture capital Our Innovation Fund, who together led the funding round. Venture capital Superseed Ventures also jumped in on the opportunity to invest.
Simon Yenken, one-time chair of ASX 200 listed company Aconex, was one of Matrak’s earliest investors and leader of the startup’s seed round. Simon Yenken has helped fund other start ups like Canva and Redbubble, which have both been hugely successful.
According to Brett Hodgkins, Matrak are expecting $1 million in recurring revenue annually by December 2019.
The idea for Matrak came when Brett, who was in charge of tracking materials, became frustrated by the confusion around locating materials, and by having to put down his tools and stop work to search for them.
Together, he and Shane developed an app to monitor when materials arrived on site.
Six years on, and Matrak has been used on a total of 60 project sites and counting. The company has a full time team of 11 staff.
The business currently has 30 customers using their platform, which not only tracks materials shipments but also creates interactive site drawings. In this way, the technology also improves building standards and could potentially be an industry game changer.
Since the start up made $765,000 in their seed round, they have entered into the Chinese market, where they’ve signed 100 new customers. This was made possible through the Austrade Landing Pad program in Shanghai.
Despite the traditionally slow uptake of new technology by the construction sector, Brett Hodgkins has said that the market seems ready for their product.
“A lot of [businesses] are hiring innovation directors,” said Brett, indicating the breath of fresh air which is expected to come.
When asked whether his rapidly-growing company could become an Australian unicorn (a privately owned start up worth over $1 billion), Brett gave a modest yet optimistic response:
“It’s a great thing to aim for.”
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Image Source: The Australian
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