Agora | August 12, 2021
Agora, the industry-leading commercial construction procurement platform, today announced its $33 million Series B funding round led by Tiger Global, with additional key investments from 8VC, Tishman Speyer, Jerry Yang, Michael Ovitz, DST, LeFrak, and Kevin Hartz. Commercial trade contractors use Agora to order and track materials, automate manual data entry, and bring all their supply chain stakeholders together onto a single platform for seamless communication. Agora's software solution is a crucial component in reducing the cost of construction, helping deliver critical projects that strengthen local communities faster and more efficiently, and reducing materials waste.
To make our cities more affordable, the commercial construction industry must adopt new technology. Construction is a $10 trillion industry that employs more than 200 million people worldwide. Yet, according to McKinsey, labor productivity growth in the industry has been stagnant since 1947.
"Our cities are facing an affordability crisis," said Maria Rioumine, CEO and Co-Founder at Agora. "Our mission at Agora is to make the built environment faster and more efficient to build. By modernizing the construction supply chain, we can dramatically reduce building costs and help make our cities more affordable and accessible to all."
Commercial trade contractors across the US still rely on manual, pen-and-paper processes too often to manage their supply chains. Office teams are overburdened with manual data entry and have to rely on outdated systems that don't work with each other. Field teams have no easy way to select the exact materials they need and track them to delivery. These inefficient processes slow contractors down and lead to miscommunication, project delays, and a huge amount of waste.
Agora brings both field and office teams onto one digital platform that saves office teams 75% of the time they spend processing purchase orders, and field teams 38% of the time their foremen spend on materials management. In total, this amounts to $300,000 of potential annual savings for the average Agora customer.
Today, Agora is processing more than $140 million in annualized materials orders for its customers. In the last year, the company has grown revenue 760% and expanded across 30 states, all whilst tripling in team size. This strong growth attracted a number of top investors, who proactively offered term sheets and sought to scale Agora's impact.
"Agora is defining the future of procurement in construction," said John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global. "Agora's platform delivers an industry-leading experience for commercial trade contractors and is a game changer in modernizing how construction works. We're excited about Agora's strong traction, incredible market opportunity, and proven track record of customer success."
During the COVID-19 pandemic, contractors across the country faced severe supply chain disruptions and material price fluctuations. Many turned to Agora to help them manage quotes across different vendors more easily and lock in prices in advance. Using the Agora platform, customers reduced the back-and-forth ordering process that traditionally took five or more days to 24-48 hours, and saved their teams hours a day by eliminating manual data entry and shortening the time it takes to process each PO.
"Agora transformed the way we manage our supply chain," John Mraz, owner of Einheit Electric Construction Co. "With Agora, my foremen and purchasing agents can use a platform with Amazon-like speed and integration to make sure the right materials arrive on-site, on time. The digital experience is a boon for recruiting young workers, making the best use of our existing employees, and positioning the entire company to beat our goals and growth metrics."
Agora's latest round will boost its focus on recruiting top talent for its growing engineering, sales, customer success, marketing, product, and design teams. The company is also devoting significant resources to research and development as it expands into other trade verticals.
Agora is a materials procurement platform built for commercial trade contractors to reduce overhead costs and increase labor productivity. The platform brings the field, office, warehouse, accounting teams, and suppliers, onto one collaborative platform, allowing contractors to create requisitions, issue purchase orders, and track invoices and deliveries instantaneously.
Siemens Smart Infrastructure | July 19, 2021
75F, the global leader in IoT-based building automation technologies for optimizing indoor air quality and energy efficiency in commercial spaces, announced today that Siemens AG had invested. Siemens Smart Infrastructure was represented in the investment by Next47, a global venture capital firm backed by Siemens. The newest round of funding for 75F's Series A round takes the company's total capital to $28 million. Next47 joins a notable group of investors backed by 75F, including Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy, OGCI Climate Investments, and WIND Ventures.
75F's vertically integrated, full-stack solution includes proprietary hardware and software that works right away to improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing building energy consumption. The system uses built-in artificial intelligence to create a digital twin of any commercial building, using data from a wireless sensor network and third-party weather forecasts to predictably and proactively redirecting air where it is most needed. Every day, each customer building analyzes and makes hundreds of thousands of individual decisions based on over a million data points. As a result, the system is the market's first IoT-native solution, a differentiator that leads to more connected, intuitive, efficient, and cost-effective building operations.
75F develops and produces the world's top IoT-based Building Management System, an out-of-the-box, vertically integrated system which is less affordable and easier to deploy than anything else on the market today. The company uses IoT, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning to provide data-driven, proactive building intelligence and HVAC and lighting optimization controls. Some of the greatest names in energy and technology are among the investors. 75F's goal is to increase occupant productivity by improving comfort and indoor air quality while saving energy and the environment.
About Siemens Smart Infrastructure
Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI) is reshaping the market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure for the present and future. It connects energy systems, buildings, and industries to solve the pressing challenges of urbanization and climate change. SI offers clients a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source, including products, systems, solutions, and services from power generation to consumption. An increasingly digitalized ecosystem helps customers thrive and communities develop while also contributing to environmental protection. SI creates caring environments. The global headquarters of Siemens Smart Infrastructure is in Zug, Switzerland. The company has about 69,600 employees worldwide as of September 30, 2020.
Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. M & E Engineering Consultants | May 20, 2021
M & E Engineering Consultants has been acquired by Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc., a global provider of forensic engineering and technical consulting services. The company is also strategically positioned to provide for its global customer base with increased capabilities in Mechanical, Electrical, and Life Safety areas, with more than 90 offices and 950 employees.
“At Rimkus, we're on a journey to expand our practice areas and teams from inside while still taking advantage of acquisition opportunities. Our international client base requires experts who can combine technical expertise with excellent project management to help them achieve their goals. “The addition of M & E Engineering Consultants to our team will enhance our expertise in core service areas while maintaining the high standards that our clients have come to expect from Rimkus,” said Curtis Brown, Chairman and Executive Director of Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
“M & E Engineering Consultants brings to our firm a deep, 40-year history of engineering practice in Ontario, and we couldn't be more pleased to have them join the Rimkus family. Our growth policy is closely aligned with their market leadership and reputation for client success. Our teams are well-positioned for long-term success, with the potential to easily expand and fulfill our clients' mechanical, electrical, and life safety requirements,” said Robert Kocher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
“We're excited to be joining the Rimkus team, another industry pioneer with similar skills and a dedication to doing the same high-quality work we look for in a partner. M & E Engineering Consultants' Ed Porasz said, "We're excited to put our strategic insights, backed by Rimkus' resources and growing network, to offer even more industry-leading consulting services and options to our customer base."
About Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. is a forensic consulting and technical services provider to insurance companies, law firms, corporations, and government entities around the world. Rimkus provides customers in claim and dispute resolution, restoration design services, property risk evaluations, and due diligence property condition assessments, among other things. The company's team of experienced engineers, architects, scientists, and technical experts has been recognized by the local, national, and international business community for its commitment to service excellence for more than 35 years. Rimkus has over 90 branches in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
About M & E Engineering Consultants
M & E Engineering Ltd. is an employee-owned consulting engineering company with over 40 years of experience in Ontario. For commercial, hospitality, multi-residential, institutional, and industrial uses, M & E specializes in offering comprehensive Mechanical, Electrical, and Life Safety consulting services to architects, building owners, structural consultants, and tenants. Every year, our professional team at M & E delivers successful projects for our clients in Ontario, throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe, ranging from detailed new construction and retrofit designs, problem investigation, energy audits, and building condition assessments on hundreds of buildings.