Fairfax Financial Holdings' Fair Ventures dropped $1.9M in seed funding on Kitchener, Ontario, Canada–based start-up Dozr to expand the company’s rental platform for standing iron, drones, robotics and equipment operators.
The company already boasts more 2,000 customers and $50 million worth of rentable idle equipment on its platform, which takes a sharing-economy approach to significant capex investments like bulldozers, excavators and other construction vehicles and technology.
- The current capital raise will allow the company to add insurance coverage for the rentals and possibly assist its expansion into the U.S.
Standing iron — rows of parked and unused heavy construction equipment at job sites — used to be a signifier of a downturn in the building economy. Dozr is looking to put that equipment back to work. Similar to other sharing-economy services, Dozr's Web-based rental platform connects builders who need equipment with those who have it to spare.
Dozr is not alone in its effort to tap the crowd in order to keeping construction equipment running and generating revenue for their owners. In May, EquipmentShare landed $5.5M in venture funding for a similar peer-to-peer equipment rental platform. And competitors are quickly seeking to differentiate themselves. EquipmentShare offers a telematics system to track location and usage information, while Dozr provides equipment insurance and operators when needed.
Additional competitors in the space include the Yard Club, which nabbed an investment from equipment giant Caterpillar in 2015, and Getable, which both offer small and mid-sized construction firms bargaining power when it comes to allocating heavy equipment for a rental fee rather than buying into and maintaining their own fleets.