There’s been nothing but good news lately for Bridgit, developers of the cloud-based project management software solution Closeout.
The Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.-based company announced recently it had secured $2.2 million in seed funding to increase the size of its team and expand further into U.S. markets.
The seed round was led by Hyde Park Venture Partners with participation from Vanedge Capital.
"We were introduced to Hyde Park by our original investors and we met Vanedge through a local tech event in Toronto," says Bridgit co-founder Mallorie Brodie.
"They were very impressed with the traction we’d achieved in the market already. They had some knowledge of the construction industry and they had invested in software and services companies before, so it was a really great fit."
Brodie says the investors were aligned with Bridgit’s investment strategy for the funding, which will be devoted primarily to two business objectives: building out its engineering team to accelerate the continuing development of the software product and expanding the sales and marketing department to drive more aggressive growth. Bridgit announced in February that it had hired on Jeff Fedor as its chief technology officer to lead the engineering expansion.
"He’s led the technology team for a number of start-ups and he’s a very seasoned executive," says Brodie. "We’ve already done a good job in cornering the market when it comes to deficiency management. It’s important for us to be on the leading edge of what our customers need, so we’re constantly investing in research and development so we can provide them with the best experience we can on the jobsite."
Both Brodie and co-founder Lauren Lake have family backgrounds planted in the construction industry. While that prepared them to meet the needs of the industry, part of their R&D efforts include reaching out to the industry on a regular basis to maintain that edge.
"We’re always interviewing people from all parts of the industry to ensure that we have the clearest perspective possible on how we can build greater value," says Brodie. "We consult with people from the job site to the executive level and extend that to people who are lawyers or in development in the construction industry —anyone who has a unique perspective on the construction industry ecosystem."
Bridgit will also be hiring additional salespeople to boost revenue, with an aggressive focus on increasing sales in the U.S. market. The product is already being used in major American cities, including New York, Chicago, Seattle and Miami.
"Aside from being a much larger market, the needs of the construction customers are identical," says Brodie.
The funding announcement gave Bridgit an additional media boost when the story was picked up by U.S. business magazine Forbes.
In December, the company also took home the top prize at global entrepreneurial competition Google Demo Day: Women’s Edition. Bridgit was the only Canadian team in the competition.
In addition to a corporate target of quadrupling its revenue, company personnel harbour individual goals.
"Our customer experience manager, who was the first person to join our company team in 2014, had the goal when she first started of being invited to one of our customers’ birthday parties," says Brodie. "She said she wanted them have such a great customer experience that they would feel like she was their friend. She made that happen in the first year. I think that demonstrates our unique approach to customer experience that will allow us to grow in the industry."