Meet Graneet, a French startup that just raised a $2.8 million seed round (€2.4 million) led by Point Nine and Foundamental. Graneet is a vertical software-as-a-service startup focused on the construction industry and the myriad small and medium companies in this industry specifically.
It wants to build the definitive financial management solution so that construction companies can better control their projects. The vast majority of construction companies still rely on multiple Excel files, which leads to information silos and cumbersome data entry tasks. Other investors include Jack Newton, Renaud Visage, Alexandre Guinefolleau, Arthur Waller, Philippe Gelis and the founders of Colonies.
The mother of Graneet’s co-founder and CEO Jean-Gabriel Niel has been leading a construction company. “She would tell me ‘this is crazy, I can’t figure out whether I’m going to gain or lose money for one out of two construction projects,’ ” he told me.
He spent some time looking at this company’s internal processes — order processing, billing management, you name it. And that’s when he realized that Microsoft Excel was still the leading solution.
With Graneet, the company thinks it needs to solve three basic things — quotes, billing and resource planning. The startup first started working on billing. Graneet acts as a single source of truth where you can see how much your client is supposed to pay, how much you’ve received so far and what’s next. You can see if there are any outstanding invoices and mark them as paid.
The company then started working on quotes and lead generation. Graneet lets you create quotes directly from the platform. Once the client has approved your quote, you can go back when your construction project is well on its way and enter a percentage of completion — this is a key metric in this industry.
Finally, with today’s funding round, Graneet wants to develop the third part of its product, which is resource planning. Soon, you’ll be able to manage subcontractors from Graneet and divide an invoice into multiple parts for multiple contractors.
Graneet clients will be able to invite subcontractors to the platform. They won’t be able to see everything, but they’ll be able to see what they’re working on. Similarly, if you’re a Graneet client and you work for a bigger company as a subcontractor, you’ll be able to send monthly progress reports. That should definitely help when it comes to finding new clients for the product.
Later down the road, Graneet thinks it can also offer more services to its existing customers. For instance, many construction companies work with factoring companies — these companies buy outstanding invoices and pay them right away for cash flow reasons. Graneet could also provide advance payments on the platform directly.
That’s just one example of how Graneet could be helpful. The idea is that construction companies are currently under-equipped when it comes to software solutions. If Graneet can prove that it can fill that gap, there will be a lot of product opportunities.