As software eats the world, it seems no industry is safe. One vertical in particular that appears to be getting more attention from startups is construction, where we’re seeing new apps pop up to make building things a whole lot easier and more efficient.
A company called Getable, which simplifies the process of renting and tracking construction equipment, is part of that trend. As the industry becomes more comfortable with the idea of ordering its equipment from an app, Getable has raised $5 million in new funding led by The Social+Capital Partnership to expand its services nationwide.
In addition to the institutional money, the Series A round also included participation from a number of strategic investors, including Ghilotti Brothers Inc., Pacific Structures, Zachary Construction, DPR Construction, Stomper Company, and Brick & Mortar Ventures, a new investment fund run by Bechtel construction group’s Darren Bechtel.
San Francisco-based Getable was founded in 2010 to make it easier to connect contractors with the equipment they needed to get a job done. It offers free-to-download apps that enable construction crews to track equipment in the field that they already own, and to manage orders for equipment that comes from third-party rental agencies.
In doing so, Getable hopes to bring online a highly inefficient market with little transparency around price or availability. The app gives contractors more choice for vendors to rent from, enabling them to choose based on an existing relationship, negotiated pricing, or volume-based incentives. Getable takes a 10 percent commission on any equipment ordered through the app.
Getable also provides more transparency to contractors about the assets that they have under management for any given job, the costs associated with those assets, as well as where and how often particular equipment is being used.
Adoption is picking up, as the construction world is following a broader trend of contractors renting rather than owning goods they only occasionally use. According to the American Rental Association, approximately 50 percent of all equipment used on job sites is rented.
It also follows the trend of everything moving to apps and software. More than 90 percent of general contractors reportedly use smartphones while on a job site, and iPad penetration is now up to more than 60 percent among construction crews. As more contractors are using smartphones and tablets on the job, apps like Getable provide a better way to keep track of their equipment, whether it’s rented or owned.
For Getable, which is based in San Francisco and has spent much of its time operating in West Coast markets, the new funding will help it to expand quickly. The company is opening up its offerings nationwide, thanks to partnerships with construction equipment rental agencies across the country.