Why Canapi is Doubling Down on Built’s Series C
The Construction Industry is Lagging Behind
In today’s increasingly fast-paced, tech-driven world, the construction industry lags noticeably behind. Many processes are still handled manually and require the involvement of numerous stakeholders. This can result in riskier underwriting, costly time expenditures, and dissatisfied stakeholders.
The information that lenders need to profitably originate and service construction loans is often siloed across a number of legacy systems, offline spreadsheets and disparate teams. Beyond being an administrative headache, these features can increase the cost of lending, slow down the speed of draws, and limit lenders’ visibility into their own loan portfolios. Other key players like contractors, homebuilders, and suppliers are similarly forced to deal with systems and processes that are typically disconnected, outdated, and inefficient.
These elements combine to form a market that is large, but complex, with many idiosyncratic features that can stifle investment.
With nearly $1.4T of annual construction spend in the US alone, the infrastructure underpinning the industry is in desperate need of renovation, and we believe the Built team is uniquely positioned to drive it.
Powering Smarter Construction Finance
In 2014, Chase Gilbert and Andrew Sohr launched Built, a technology-enabled construction loan administration platform designed to centralize relevant information to enable more efficient loan servicing, decrease risk to lenders, power faster draws, and improve the stakeholder experience.
Built’s headline product for lenders integrates core and servicing data to offer banks a real-time picture of their portfolios. By eliminating manual processes and centralizing data, Built allows lenders and borrowers to track collateral as it moves through the construction process, thereby mitigating risk and offering unprecedented transparency to every stakeholder.
In addition to powering smarter lending, Built’s platform streamlines the process for banks. Built Pay for Lenders serves as direct payment rails from lender to borrower, eliminating the need to fund loans through physical checks. This is especially important in construction lending where numerous draws lead to quite a few checks being needed; one bank we heard from estimated they were spending millions a year on postage alone!
Built has also become a differentiator for banks’ compliance departments, offering a full audit trail of key activities and processes through an intuitive interface. Built’s centralized, fully-auditable, “always-on” availability has led to significant cost reductions and the elimination of wasteful labor hours spent tracking down siloed documents and hard-to-find information.
Another product driving value for banks is Built Inspection Services, which simplifies the fulfillment of draw inspections through an end-to-end marketplace powered by Built, allowing banks to monitor inspection progress and disburse draws with confidence.
Through integrations with core construction and accounting software platforms, Built continues to expand its value-add to stakeholders across the industry. Products like Built Pay streamline the complicated maze of payments that flow through the industry, while Built’s Lien Waivers Management service helps contractors save time by exchanging waivers electronically.
Built’s traction has been impressive. At the end of 2020, Built had nearly 55K active loans on the platform, representing ~$74B in total commitment dollars across three quarters of a million transactions touched. In addition to servicing ~485K draw disbursements representing nearly $60B in total draw amount, Built also performed more than 170K inspections.
Today, Built counts more than 125 of the top US construction lenders and more than 400 of the US’ most active contractors as customers, with a robust pipeline of high-quality customers being steadily onboarded. As Built continues to expand its product suite, we expect Built to become highly relevant for an increasingly large segment of the US construction ecosystem.
Connecting the Built World
An important feature that came up often in our diligence is that Built’s technology stack “plays nice” with just about all bank cores, LOS’s and construction management software. This portability means Built can onboard customers more smoothly than competitors and opens the platform to a wide range of clients and use cases down the road.
We believe the next few years will be an exciting period of growth for Built. In the near term, Built will place an emphasis on products that enhance the relevance of the platform to stakeholders across the “built world”. These products will help banks mitigate construction lending risk, better understand the capital needs of their borrowers, and find new ways to partner with players throughout the industry.
Built’s recent partnership with nCino has yielded encouraging early results; Built will continue to pursue similar data-driven partnerships to improve the customer experience and develop their product suite.
Longer term, Built will expand internationally, gaining access to the $10T+ international construction market. We’re excited about the ways Built may leverage its unique construction data assets to create efficient marketplaces for construction goods and services. We believe banks on the Built platform will benefit from a front-row seat to construction innovation as Built reshapes the industry.
Partnering with Built
Canapi’s relationship with Built goes back to early 2019, when we participated in their Series B financing round. Since then, we have developed a strong relationship with the team and collaborated on numerous successful strategic and business development objectives. We’ve developed conviction in the management team’s vision and their consistent ability to execute. This familiarity with the business and affinity for the team played a critical role in our decision to “double down” on our investment in their Series C round.
Beyond representing what we feel is an attractive financial investment, our partnership with Built has been highly strategic for our bank limited partners, many of whom are either current customers or in Built’s near-term pipeline. As Built continues to expand and grow, we’re thrilled to find new ways to add value as investors, partners, and advocates for many years to come.
We could not be more excited to partner with Chase, Andrew, and the rest of the Built team, alongside Addition Capital, as Built embarks on this new chapter of growth!