BUILK – a Thai tech startup – has announced that it recently completed Series B fundraising from Beacon VC, the venture capital arm of KASIKORNBANK PLC (KBank), with three other strategic investors. Through the VC funding, BUILK aims to strengthen its technology and financial services to enhance Thai companies’ construction material management process and propel the Thai construction industry towards the digital era. This innovation is hoped to benefit the construction supply chain, property developers, contractors, manufacturers, and distributors of construction materials, thus aiding BUILK in profit generation and preparing the company to go public thereafter.
Builk One Group Ltd. (BUILK) is a Thai tech startup that provides business management and online construction material trading platform for construction companies. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Thai economic slowdown, the construction industry still shows bright prospects thanks to the capital injection from the public sector, especially into megaprojects and national infrastructure projects. However, many contractors lack the opportunity to access technology and funding sources, impairing these contractors’ ability to improve their business efficiency from cost and time management to quality aspects.
For over 11 years that Builk One Group has developed and offered a digital business management platform for the construction industry, it had helped more than 3,500 companies in the industry to digitize their work process through Builk One Group’s software as a service (SaaS) offering and workflow-integrated marketplace models. BUILK generated a sales turnover of more than 500 million Baht last year, and it plans to expand its presence within ASEAN in the foreseeable future.
Mr. Patai Padungtin, CEO and Founder of Builk One Group Co. Ltd., said that the company had developed the BUILK Platform to help Thai construction entrepreneurs operate more effectively, giving them improved access to funding or financial products. These goals align with Beacon Venture Capital’s vision to bring in digital innovation together with KBank’s financial capabilities to help contractors operate their businesses more systematically, eliminate redundancies, and improve access to capital. Moreover, Builk One Group has developed a technology for construction sites to enhance operational efficiency and reduce errors. This technology will also help contractors add value to their services, strengthen customer confidence, and create more significant interaction and communication between different stakeholders.
Mr. Thanapong Na Ranong, Managing Director of Beacon Venture Capital, KBank’s venture capital arm who looks to invest in startups that have strong ability to innovate, commented that that Beacon VC is interested in the domestic construction industry because it still has a lot of opportunities to be digitized. Despite changes in the Thai construction industry along with challenges stemming from the recent disruption of new construction businesses and an unexpected pandemic, which has hurt the economy and private construction business, the construction industry remains imperative to Thailand’s development and growth. Thus, KBank has joined with Builk One Group to establish new guidelines towards the development of financial products and new forms of financial services in offering loans to construction firms that have the capacity and potential for growth, but cannot access funding sources to support their operations. To this end, technology is being used to enhance business capacity, develop a work system and increase the chance of getting construction projects.
This strategic cooperation between Beacon Venture Capital Co., Ltd. and Builk One Group Co., Ltd. also benefits from an alliance with three major business partners whose combined strengths help bring this shared vision closer to fruition. They are AddVentures by SCG, Cre-Ful Co., Ltd., and Rosewood Capital Co., Ltd., all of which bring their long-standing expertise in construction work to support technological development within this industry, in terms of technical knowledge and work systems. New technology will be utilized to solve real-life issues experienced by Thai contractors in fast and convenient ways that further reduce expenses. Moreover, this collaborative effort is expected to introduce further innovations and in-depth data analyses previously unseen in Thailand.
About Builk One Group
Builk One Group Co.,Ltd was established in 2005 and has expanded as tech startup since 2009, founding Builk Asia Co.,Ltd, with the mission to progressively shift the construction industry to become fully, digitally transformed. The team designed and developed many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for the construction industry, such as Pojjaman2 (the fully cloud-based ERP system for large construction enterprises), and BUILK.COM (the first free cost control software for SME contractors in Asia). With the mission to improve the construction industry by increasing efficiency in work and reducing the risk to the business, Builk One Group has brought knowledge, technology, creativity, and new business models to the industry. As a result, all solutions were developed for entrepreneurs in the whole construction supply chain, such as YELLO (the data-driven online construction materials store, offering price checks and purchase services), JUBILI by BUILK (the B2B customer relationship management), PLOY by BUILK (the customer relationship management for real estate), Kwanjai by BUILK (the commercial maintenance system), and BUILK360 (the brand-new virtual construction site tour). Previously, Builk One Group was funded by Thai corporate venture capital funds (CVC), which were Moonshot Venture Capital and AddVentures by SCG.
About Beacon Venture Capital
Founded in 2017, Beacon VC is a wholly-owned corporate venture capital fund of Kasikornbank PLC. Beacon VC focuses on strategic investments in early to growth-stage technology startups covering not only financial technology (fintech) but also consumer internet and enterprise technology. Currently, Beacon VC has a fund size of $135 million and has invested in several technology startups such as FlowAccount, Eventpop, Jitta, Grab, Nium and Aspire.
About SCG BUILK ONE PHILIPPINES
SCG Builk One Philippines, Inc. is a joint venture company in the Philippines between The Siam Cement Group Co.,Ltd. (SCG) and Builk One Group Co.,Ltd. To increase efficiency and minimize risks for small-scale contractors through a digital platform accessible to construction businesses. The partnership has a shared goal of increasing work efficiency and bringing about sustainable growth for the industry toward revolutionizing the ASEAN construction industry.