- Rhumbix, a mobile platform that collects data from construction workers' smartphones to offer real-time "data-driven insights" for project managers and developers, announced Tuesday it has secured $6 million in Series A funding.
- The financing round was led by Greylock Partners, along with participation from UJ Ventures, Brick & Mortar Ventures, and Ray Levitt, a professor at Stanford University.
- Rhumbix said it used the $6 million funding infusion to open up its private beta platform — which includes a mobile timekeeping application and real-time cost coding — to interested customers, starting Tuesday.
San Francisco-based Rhumbix, founded in 2014 by Navy veterans, aims to "close the gap between the blue-collar workforce and management in the home office by providing real time data and insights for all project stakeholders," the company said in a release.
The software is largely focused on geolocation services that keep track of the locations of construction workers to accurately pay them for how many hours they worked based on the data. "Fundamentally, it’s cost-code accounting," co-founder Zachary Scheel told TechCrunch. "Traditionally, this has been done by foremen using clipboards, which isn’t very accurate."
Rhumbix has faced a significant challenge in convincing construction workers to use the app, which is collecting data on them. The company anonymizes the data of individuals to present it only at a "crew" level to avoid privacy concerns, according to TechCrunch.
Rhumbix said the software also acts as a connection between project managers and construction workers by asking the workers constantly how the project can be improved.
With real-time data collected on job sites, the app can help improve worker and productivity and safety, according to Rhumbix. The company is looking to capitalize on the fact that most advancements in construction technology are geared toward the supervisor or manager level, rather than laborers.
"It's our belief that the most valuable data on job sites comes from workers themselves. At Rhumbix, we're building mobile applications for the blue-collar craft workforce that eliminate cumbersome manual reporting methods and provide unprecedented visibility into real-time data from construction operations," Rhumbix CEO and Co-Founder Zach Scheel said. "With our platform, frontline workers will finally have direct input and influence on improving project outcomes."
So far, Rhumbix has worked with Anvil Builders and subcontractors working on the Salesforce tower in San Francisco, according to TechCrunch.
Construction startups have seen major investor interest recently. Technology startup Uptake reached a $1.1 billion valuation after raising $45 million from investors, including heavy equipment giant Caterpillar — which wants to use Uptake's technology to offer better data analytics technology for customers using its equipment.
On the same day as Uptake's funding announcement, Fieldwire, a startup offering mobile and web platform services for construction projects, announced it had secured $6.6 million in Series A financing. And last week, BuildingConnected, a construction bid management platform startup, announced it raised $8.5 million in Series A.
The big wave of funding rounds for these startups reflect the construction industry's move toward incorporating more technology both on the job site and in the planning stages to streamline projects, as well as avoid cost overruns and delays.