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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Sequoia-backed proptech startup Brick&Bolt is bringing know-how and transparency to housing tasks

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Building is among the many most archaic and cumbersome companies in India with virtually 80 % of the sector being unorganised and managed by orthodox builders. 

From unaccounted venture delays and money movement issues to altering shopper calls for, debt burdens, and lack of transparency — it has been riddled with points. Extra so after the pandemic, with development exercise hit by labour scarcity and disruptions within the uncooked materials provide resulting from lockdown restrictions. 

Can know-how come to the rescue? 

Jayesh Rajpurohit, a civil engineer from IIT Roorkee, believes so. 

Hailing from a Marwari household that was within the development enterprise for years, he was uncovered to the perils of the sector early on. Jayesh was acutely conscious that the business suffered from a “severe tech deficit”. 

Brick&Bolt Co-founders Arpit and Jayesh Rajpurohit

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In 2018, he (alongside along with his brother Arpit Rajpurohit) based Brick&Bolt as a tech-enabled development market to convey belief, predictability, and transparency in housing tasks.

“We met with different contractors to understand the problems faced by customers. There were many tangible pain points and the segment had low competition,” Jayesh tells YourStory. 

The Bengaluru-based startup recognized 4 key ache factors: a) lack of transparency in contracts, b) mid-project worth escalations, c) surprising delays, and d) advance funds demanded by contractors. “We knew we had to have a fully-managed marketplace like Urban Company or Ola to solve these problems,” Jayesh says.

The problem was to make development standardised and predictable “across projects, cities, and contractors”. And it may solely be achieved with know-how.

Finish-to-end development market

Brick&Bolt developed an end-to-end on-line market that connects clients with a curated set of service suppliers, together with contractors, architects, designers, carpenters, and different development professionals. 

Owners need to refill a request kind relying on their necessities, obtain a value estimation from the platform, and e book the service by paying a payment. 

Brick&Bolt operates a tech-enabled development market for housing tasks

To take away opacity in development timelines, Brick&Bolt constructed a proprietary AI-led engine that predicts work schedules and potential supply dates for each venture. In contrast to conventional operators, the platform additionally levies penalties (1 % of the venture price per 30 days) on service suppliers in case of “non-permissible delays”. 

Brick&Bolt’s technology also enables quality checks and real-time tracking of projects using computer vision, manages workflow updates from site engineers from day one to the final delivery, and allows communication between all parties. 

Jayesh elaborates,

“We have built an in-house price quotation mechanism and a 310-point quality assessment system. All project managers have an inspection app in which they have to key in site updates thrice a week. We believe there should not be any grey area between the contractor and the customer.”

So as to resolve worth escalations and produce about cost transparency, Brick&Bolt operates on an escrow mannequin, the place clients switch cash for each stage of the venture. The cost is launched to the contractor solely after completion of that stage.

This not solely helps construct belief between stakeholders, but additionally curbs price overruns and motivates contractors to ship tasks forward of schedule

Development and enterprise mannequin

Since its inception, Brick&Bolt has curated greater than 280 contractors and booked over 800 tasks throughout Bengaluru and Mysuru. Earlier in July, it launched in Hyderabad, the place it has already signed up 30+ contractors. 

The startup primarily focuses on B2C residential development with common venture prices ranging between Rs 7-8 lakh and Rs 20 lakh. Brick&Bolt plans to launch in Chennai, Delhi, and Pune, and e book 1,500 tasks by the top of the yr. 

Co-founder Arpit Rajpurohit stated in a previous assertion,

“Currently, Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) laws are applied only on large construction projects, whereas smaller residential projects do not have any specific laws in place. Brick&Bolt is helping customers realise their dreams by implementing RERA-like features in home and small construction, making it transparent and reliable.” 

Brick&Bolt has booked 800+ tasks in Bengaluru and Mysuru, and has launched in Hyderabad

The startup claims to have witnessed a 15X progress in revenues since 2018. Apart from pocketing a venture reserving payment, it additionally earns a fee on every transaction between clients and contractors. 

Final yr, Brick&Bolt began a development materials market focused at B2B clients and business actual property tasks. It tied up with a number of distributors to supply 1,000+ SKUs on its platform.

“We wanted to control the customer experience completely, Hence, we got into supplying material to our contractors. The B2B vertical also adds to the topline of the company,” says the founder. 

Funding and future roadmap

In February 2020, Brick&Bolt raised $1.5 million in a Pre-Sequence A spherical led by Surge, Sequoia Capital’s fast scale-up programme for early-stage startups. 

The spherical additionally noticed participation from angel buyers, together with Livspace founders Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma, Aakash Goel of Trifecta Capital, Meghna Agarwal of IndiQube, and Navin Dhanuka of Piramal Fund Administration.

Later in August, Brick&Bolt went on to boost an extra $2.2 million in a Sequence A spherical led by Germany-based construction-focused fund Foundamental.

India’s development sector is projected to be price $640 billion by 2025

Brick&Bolt hopes to journey the tide of elevated homeownership submit the pandemic. Its purpose is to hit an annualised GMV of $5 billion and have a presence in India’s high 15 cities by 2025.

“Post-COVID-19, commercial construction has taken a hit, and people are getting into individual houses as they move back to their hometowns. This is going to be a permanent trend,” Jayesh reveals. 

He provides, “Our challenge is to move the millennial customer from buying a flat to building an individual home. Because owning a house has a better ROI.”

The startup competes with the likes of Infra.Market, BuildSupply, BuildNext, Brick2Wall, 100Pillars, Tracecost, Bandhoo, MistryMitra, and upcoming corporate-backed actual property marketplaces like JSW One (owned by the JSW Group) in an business estimated to be price $640 billion by 2025.

Aided by authorities initiatives in infrastructure growth and reasonably priced housing, India’s development business is poised for a increase. 

Jayesh indicators off by saying, “We wish to faucet into this huge market, offering a platform that mixes know-how with clear processes, making development organised, accessible, and seamless for residential customers.”

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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