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A mobile app for construction workers in Brazil receives $350,000 in funding

June 29, 2015 10:45 AM
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Construct, a mobile app targeted at construction professionals located in Latin America, recently received $350,000 in funding from a large group of angel investors. This investment follows $300,000 in funding from SEED, or Startups and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development, a Brazilian business incubator program that promotes technology development in Belo Horizonte, a city in southeastern Brazil.

Construct will use the funding to refine the app’s data-collecting services, expand its customer base and hire more developers, says Drew Beaurline, company CEO and co-founder. The app is available for the Apple iOS and Android operating systems and can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes Store, Google Play and constructlatam.com. Construct has been installed by approximately 500 Android users, and an undisclosed number of iPhone users. The app costs construction teams about $26 per month to register 25 users.

Founded in January 2014, the Belo Horizonte-based Construct was designed to enhance communication between construction workers located in the field with their project managers and materials suppliers. With Construct, engineers, architects and project managers can document every field decision with pictures, voice and text notes; share project plans and tag the exact location of an issue on a job site; and send copies of invoices and payment requests to company procurement professionals.

The average Construct user enters the app about seven times a day, with job site foremen as its most active users, Beaurline says. During the past two months, construction professionals working on job sites have captured more than 2,000 photos through Construct. This includes photos by Construct client Mello Azevedo, a registered construction company in Brazil that was founded in 1943.

Beaurline says he plans to also use the funding to better organize the photos, communications and contract data that Mello Azevedo and other clients record on the app.  

“We’re looking to make more usability improvements, and make this data capture as simple and easy to do in the field as humanly possible,” Beaurline says. “These construction guys are going out and taking a bunch of pictures of their site. We need to organize those pictures in a meaningful and digestible way, so decisions can be made from them.”  

The app cost about $120,000 to develop, and took about a year and half for Construct’s four in-house developers to build it. By the end of the year, Beaurline says he expects 10 construction companies will be using the app. At that point, he plans to apply for more funding.  

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