Sydney-based startup Sitemate, which offers no-code software tools for businesses in the built world, has raised $5.2 million through accelerated growth.
The round was led by Blackbird, with participation from existing investors Shearwater Capital and angel investors including Eucalyptus founder Tim Doyle and Propellor Aero founder Rory San Miguel. Terms were not disclosed.
Built world businesses include those in mining, construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, energy, power, utilities, transportation, agriculture and facility management.
These industries are among the last to experience disruption of traditional work processes by software. In early 2020, McKinsey noted that the COVID-19 pandemic would accelerate industry investment in digitalization, which was lagging behind other industries.
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That matches Sitemate’s experience, said co-founder Hartley Pike. A graduate of the Startmate accelerator program, Sitemate grew from a handful of clients when he left that program in 2017, to around 100 in 2019 before the pandemic hit. Two years later, it is approaching 1,000 customers. Pike attributes this growth to both the pandemic and the continued growth of the Sitemate team.
“The pandemic has really forced these companies to explore these kinds of platforms,” Pike said.
“(Our team) went from just raw industry experience to raw industry experience and a world-class product strategy, and then over the last two or three years we layered engineering and world-class execution and it all started to fall into place.”
Sitemate’s no-code platform enables businesses in the built world to digitize and streamline their operating procedures such as site logs, site reports, inspections, permits, and more. About 75% of Sitemate customers have not used any digital tools for problems solved by Sitemate, the remaining 25% have already used competitor software.
“It’s like we haven’t even scratched the surface yet,” Pike said.
“If you compare the sophistication of some of these companies operating in the built world, with their tech stacks, versus how we have our tech stack set up. We’re talking maybe a 10 year difference, and that was 20 before COVID-19.
Pike says the industry had been slow to embrace digital tools before the pandemic, not because they’re Luddites, but because the issues hadn’t been understood.
“The 5% of the industry that are early adopters are starting to think like tech companies. It’s all data-driven. It’s all integrated. It’s all connected,” Pike said.
“We take a lot of inspiration from this market-leading section. The ones that really push us to the limits. And that’s what drives a lot of our strategic thinking.
“There will be a suite of first-rate tools. They will all be seamlessly integrated. They will all have a world-class user interface and user experience. They will all be commercially friendly with monthly or annual options, no long contracts and expensive add-ons.
“Our belief is that in five to 10 years, many of these industrial companies working in the built world will operate in the same way that technology companies operate today.”
A shared belief in this future, along with the strong fundamentals of Sitemate, led Blackbird to lead this round, said Blackbird Director Tom Humphrey.
“It’s one of the most capital efficient I’ve seen to date, just in terms of how much they’ve raised, how much they’ve spent to get to where they are today,” said he declared.
“In terms of money invested in ARR (annual recurring revenue). It’s been a profitable business for a while, which obviously we don’t see a lot in our business.”
Despite the obvious need for digital tools by businesses in the built world, few startups have been able to capitalize on this need, says Humphrey.
“The biggest challenge has been that it’s really difficult to build a benchmark market in terms of product-driven growth and trying to reach the market in a capital-efficient way,” he said. declared.
“What drew me to Sitemate was that they’re one of the few companies I’ve seen in this space that somehow figured out how to crack the code. They have a nice marketing like SAAS, they have best-in-class SAAS metrics, and I just haven’t seen that very often in this space.The opportunity in this market is huge.