In the same way that we now take pictures of receipts to expense that “important lunch,” construction tech startup Qflow allows the teams running construction sites to do the same for building materials. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? However, it’s more innovative and less trivial than it sounds. To date, there hasn’t been a company that’s done this — as far as TechCrunch is aware — making Qflow pretty unique. It also has a de-carbonization angle: If you can track construction materials more efficiently, then you can track carbon inputs and outputs. This is especially important, given that the construction industry is one of the biggest carbon emitters, accounting for 11 percent of global carbon emissions.
The company has now closed a $9.1 million (£7.2M) Series A funding round led by climate tech VC Systemiq Capital, to fuel its growth in the U.S. and Australia. Also participating is Ascension Ventures, Bridge Investment Group, Gravel Rd, Greensoil Proptech Ventures, Grosvenor, John Emrey (CEO of Alder properties), MMC, and Suffolk Tech.
Qflow says its platform allows construction teams to collect real-time materials and waste data, allowing those teams to make more informed decisions on cost, carbon, and quality, driving more transparency and efficiency.
Qflow previously raised £2.4 million across two seed rounds, with investment from Pi Labs, MMC, Goldacre, Entrepreneur First (EF London 10) and angel investors.
The company was founded in 2018 by Brittany Harris and Jade Cohen, both with experience in the construction industry. The pair met volunteering for World Merit, an SGGs community.
Over an interview, Harris, co-founder and CEO of Qflow, told me: “Construction is one of the most carbon intensive industries in the world. And it’s a bit of a nightmare to decarbonize because there are so many moving parts. Qflow is ultimately the simplest way of capturing all the information you need in order to understand the carbon impact of construction and then use that to decarbonize. It’s all about reducing that right way, but in the long run, it’s about unlocking the economy across urban mining.”
An urban mine is the stockpile of rare metals in the discarded electrical and electronic equipment waste of a society.
Qflow says clients using the platform now include Berkeley Group, Canary Wharf Group, Grosvenor, Landsec, Morgan Sindall, Multiplex, Workplace Futures and others.
Matthew Goldstein, general partner at Systemiq Capital, said in a statement: “Qflow uniquely aligns the goals of construction CFOs and sustainability executives, accelerating customers’ decarbonisation ambitions while saving them time, money, and reducing regulatory risk.”