Real estate tech startup FalconBrick has secured an undisclosed amount in its Angel round of funding led by Satveer Thakral of Singapore Angel Network, LetsVenture, and Mumbai Angels. An international venture fund has also participated in the deal.
The round also saw participation from Apurva Salarpuria (founder, Salarpuria Sattva Group), Sidharth Pansari (Director, Primarc Group), Abhishek Bhatewara (promoter Family – Rohan Builders), Dreamweaver Investment & Business Solutions, Mridul Upreti (CEO, JLL), and an investor with real estate background.
The company plans to use the funds to strengthen product, for geographical expansion as well as its customer service/retention operations.
Founded by Gautam Mayur, Sashi Kiran, and Aditya Shankar in October 2015, the startup offers a mobile-based solution for construction projects. It does so by automating and subsequently accelerating end-to-end project operations including execution, finishing, handover, post- possession, and facility management.
Combining Real Estate With Technology
The real estate sector has finally caught up with the times and is getting tech-efficient all around the world. Construction technologies are changing and evolving to create time-saving methods. China is building homes in 24 hours and architects and engineers are looking for the next engineering marvel that will revolutionise the real estate industry completely.
Technology can, thus, substantially play a huge role in boosting on-ground productivity and transparency in brokerage, timelines, and costing in the real estate and construction industry. It would help builders and developers to mitigate inefficiencies, complete projects ahead of time and handover faster.
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And this is exactly what FalconBrick aims to bank upon. The platform deploys data analytics to monitor and manage ongoing construction projects via mobile phones. According to an official statement, the service is available to everyone including the site execution team, quality, planning, CRM, and contractors, as well. It also integrates workflows seamlessly on the same platform. The technology also comes equipped with the facility to access real-time visualisation of the project’s progress.
Solution To Handover Process
The startup streamlines the three most crucial phases of construction i.e. (a) planning and tracking, (b) communication, and (c) documentation. The app is a visual organisation tool that keeps the team members connected.
It achieves so with its flagship product, a mobile app called ‘Handoff, a cloud-based mobile-first solution, that manages the handover process in construction projects. Handoff allows users to manage tasks by an auto checklist, alerts, offers a unified communication portal for the management, project team, QA, CRM, vendors, as well as customers. It also provides analytics driven reports of the project and a real-time dashboard for predicting, measuring, and managing handover status.
Commenting on the combination of technology and real estate, Sashi adds, “From day one, we knew what we were addressing was a real problem – projects getting delayed and customers not getting their handovers on time. The scale of the problem is huge in India, as well as overseas. And most importantly, we believe that our solution is scalable and, hence, we are confident of building this as a long-term, sustainable business.”
The app also allows project managers, contractors, buyers and house owners to view progress and delays on the app’s dashboard itself. The startup has attempted to create a niche space for themselves by providing the field managers and workers with an app that works without Internet connectivity as well. Since most of the construction work takes place at sites that are not facilitated with Internet connectivity, the app also offers an offline mode to access and update the processes.
Commenting upon the efficiency of the product, Apurva Salarpuria, Director of Salarpuria Group said, “FalconBrick is a business created by a very strong team with cross functional expertise and industry experience. In a real estate scenario of high regulation and squeezing margins, their product stands out as a great tool in the hands of developers and contractors.”
Gunning For 250 New Projects In 2017
The company caters to real estate developers, builders, and construction firms that work around the execution of large products. They aim to deliver project management and execution at the click of a button. The solution can be used across residential, commercial, retail, and hospitality projects.
Talking about the potential market for the startup, Gautam says, “There are 50,000+ builders in India itself. We have differentiated products for Tier I builders, who are already using various forms of technology, as against Tier II and Tier III developers.”
The startup is currently operational in the four metro cities of India, namely Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata. It caters primarily to builders across various cities in the country and, as per an official statement, has already been onboarded by real estate firms such as Brigade Group, Shriram Properties, Kolte Patil, Rohan Builders, Primarc Group & Rustomjee Developers. The startup plans to add more than 50 new clients, and expand their geographical footprint to nine more cities, which would amount to around 250 new projects, by the end of 2017.
Commenting on the investment, Satveer Thakral, CEO, Singapore Angel Network, said, “The real estate and construction sector in India faces many challenges – hugely delayed projects, unhappy customers, liabilities to builders and problems with approvals. With the Real Estate Regulatory act (RERA) coming in, there is a significant push to regulate the sector and bring in clarity for both buyers and developers – and FalconBrick does just that.”
The New Age Real Estate Sector
FalconBrick works on a basic SaaS-based model, where users can pay-as-they-build. Users are charged per unit/per project. For e.g., if they are assisting on a project for apartments, they’ll charge a fixed amount, per apartment. They claim to offer a 15%-20% reduction in the handover time through a real-time, paperless process.
The real estate and construction sector in India is expected to be the third-largest globally by 2030 and contributes over 15% to Indian GDP, according to a report jointly released by NAREDCO and KPMG. The first phase of development in the category, which was primarily focussed around listing services for the residential side of the market, has paved the way for industry leaders to broadly reconsider how technology can make their lives better.
Owing to the very nature of their work, real estate and construction professionals are constantly on the go. Brokers, landlords, appraisers and developers are running around, visiting properties. To juxtapose this sector of work with technology, one can say that successful applications serving this market would need to have a healthy and robust mobile component – the factor that FalconBrick is banking on. With an offline component, real-time data visualisations and check lists, the startup aims at making the process of handover available at the ease of a click.
Internationally, the startup competes with players like Leansite Apps, Renovate Simply, Construction Automation Inc, Joist etc. On the homefront, major startups in the space include BuildTraders, Rocket Homes, Einsite among others.