RenoRun, a Canadian app-based service that connects contractors with on-demand delivery of construction materials to jobsites, received CA$22.5 million (approximately U.S. $17 million) in Series A funding. That money will go directly into technology and expansion in cities it serves in Canada and the United States, said RenoRun COO Daniel Schacter.
The investment was led by Inovia Capital and Obvious Ventures.
The app, which is meant to be pronounced like the first part of “renovation," boasts the ability to deliver building supplies to a jobsite in the area it serves — Montreal, Toronto and Austin, Texas — in as little as two hours with a flat rate of $60 per delivery, plus cost of materials.
When subcontractors or builders encounter a lack of materials, they can waste time and money on purchasing new materials for the job, Schacter told Construction Dive. The goal of RenoRun is to keep the work ongoing and keep workers onsite, by bringing the materials to them.
“We’re making sure tech is important; it’s a big part of the puzzle,” Schacter said. The company has seen 300% customer growth in the last year, and expanded to 90 employees from just seven 10 months ago.
Investing in technology will allow RenoRun to find faster ways to deliver, and make the process of selecting materials for delivery simpler and quicker. That will also relate to the sourcing and routing of materials, Schacter said, and ensuring the best materials are available for clients as quickly as possible.
Expansion for the firm would include new services or focused products in the cities it's in currently, as well as new locations on the East Coast, Texas and California within the next year, Schacter said.
RenoRun hasn’t had as many applications for commercial construction, Schacter said, noting that the service is available to commercial contractors, and has picked up and delivered materials like metal studs, safety gear and rental tools that could be appropriate for big jobs as well.
For most projects, labor is still the biggest cost, he said. Billable hours consisting of having workers fetch materials only reduces the bottom line.
RenoRun isn’t the only service offering on demand material delivery. Other applications like Toolbx, Curri and GoFor offer similar on-demand materials delivery services.
Craig Webb, president of Webb Analytics, a consulting company for construction supply dealers, distributors, vendors and investors, described Ottawa-based GoFor as an “uber-style operation.”
“People have known this [works] for quite a while,” Webb said. The general knowledge, he added, has been that it’s cheaper to send a taxi cab to retrieve materials than to send the lead carpenter.
Schacter said RenoRun’s first clientele were people who needed to make frequent Home Depot runs. Webb pointed out Home Depot is widespread, while these apps all begin locally. Home Depot also offers the option to order materials to be picked up later, and many lumber yards deliver lumber directly to jobsites.