Weaver, the London-based marketplace startup connecting architects and contractors, has raised $4 million in a seed round to fuel expansion plans across metro areas in the UK.
The construction sector remains fragmented and disconnected from digital technology. Home renovations are no exception, with less than 1% of renovation bids being carried out online. Both households and architects struggle to find and discover the best contractors, which is a time-consuming process with few digital solutions on the market. This lack of transparency and access to choice also makes household renovation riskier than it should be, as there is little due diligence to investigate the track record of contractors under review, no recourse in cases of contractor bankruptcy, with many renovation projects lacking a bidding and proper contract process altogether. All of this adds up to a murky market environment in need of fixing.
Weaver has built a bidding platform for homeowners and architects to obtain contractor prices for their renovation projects. The London-based startup is the first to help architects and their homeowner clients reduce the risks associated with hiring a general contractor by developing software that does all the critical work from sourcing, pricing, contracting, and paying contractors over one interface.
Weaver’s extensive professional network and continuous vetting ensures that architects and their clients have access to the best contractor supply. The company’s software allows architects to optimise operations and communications, creating transparency along the entire contracting process without the hassle of trawling through emails, spreadsheets or WeTransfers. Weaver is also a go-to mediator in case things don’t work out as planned between a homeowner and general contractor.
Weaver’s proprietary construction data indicates increasing costs and a tightening market for homeowners renovating
The increasing need to improve and retrofit housing stock to tackle problems such as getting a study to work from home and climate change, of which UK homes contribute 40% of all emissions, are pushing ever more households to fund their home renovation. Roughly two-thirds of the housing stock across the UK is pre-1990 and will need some form of refurbishment every ten to twenty years. Post-pandemic rising construction costs are also forcing households to search for more cost-effective solutions.
Weaver’s marketplace has been live for over 4 years and in 2021 orders on the platform grew by 2.6 times over the previous year. The marketplace has processed over $120 million worth of construction to-date, at an average project value of $160 thousand (representing a full renovation of a Victorian house). Weaver owns the largest volume of aggregate home renovation data in the UK, from pricing, renovation types to contractor & architect numbers.
Experienced team and investors on board
The founding team of construction specialists and enterprise software veterans has over 50 years of combined experience:
- Greg Keane, CEO is both a qualified Chartered Accountant and retrained as a RICS-qualified construction Surveyor, co-founding an architectural design practice before founding Weaver.
- Dan Hardiker, CTO is a seasoned enterprise software veteran who built and successfully exited a company servicing the Atlassian software suite before co-founding Weaver.
- Edward Robertshaw, CPO has over 20 years experience in software companies in Silicon Valley and the UK.
- Linden Dover, COO has over 15 years experience in construction management and joined onefinestay from Series A to exit.
The round was led by European VC btov Partners with participation from FJ Labs, Enterprise Fund (a syndicate of former Atlassian & Docker executives), Ben Naftzger (former Atlassian marketing director), Justen Stepka (former product manager at Atlassian & Docker), Jens Schumacher (CPO of search.io and former head of product at Atlassian) and Dr. Stefan Heitmann (founder & CEO of MoneyPark and PriceHubble) amongst others. In total the company has raised $5.5 million, previously in pre-Seed from leading angel investors such as Greg Marsh (founder & CEO of Nous and onefinestay), Demetrios Zoppos (founder & COO/Chairman of Klevio and onefinestay), Natasha Foster (co-founder & COO of Paid), Dan Scott (former COO of Houst/Airsorted), Lorenzo Franzi (Partner at Global Founders Capital and former founder & MD of ZipJet).
Greg Keane, CEO and Founder, said: “We have been focused on building a platform for home renovation that not only serves an imminent need but will deliver even more value as we scale. Very few industries are as behind as the construction industry, and we are poised to become a game changer that can make home renovation much easier, less risky, and more cost-effective for contractors, architects and homeowners alike.”
Florian Schweitzer, CEO and Partner at btov, said: “We have been following the market for quite some time and have not seen any other player with comparable traction at this stage. The team is extremely focused and determined with deep talent to succeed. Hence, we are convinced that Weaver is on to something special and will have a massive impact on the market.”
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