Get grenade, a French startup that raised a $2.8 million seed round (€2.4 million) led by point nine And Original. Granite is a vertical software-as-a-service startup focused on the construction industry and a myriad of small and medium companies in this industry in particular.
It seeks to create definitive financial management solutions so that construction companies can better control their projects. Most manufacturing companies still rely on multiple Excel files, leading to information silos and cumbersome data entry tasks.
The mother of Jean-Gabriel Neil, co-founder and CEO of Granat, is 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 of two construction projects,'” she told me.
He spent some time looking into the internal processes of this company – order processing, billing management, you name it. And that’s when he realized that Microsoft Excel is still the leading solution.
With Granite, the company feels it needs to address three basic things — quoting, billing, and resource planning. The startup first started working on billing. Granite serves as a single source of truth where you can see how much your customer has to pay, how much you have received so far and what lies ahead. You can see if there are any outstanding invoices and mark them as paid.
The company then started working on quotes and lead generation. Granite lets you create quotes straight from the platform. Once the client has approved your bid, you can go back to when your construction project is going well and enter the completion percentage – this is an important metric in this industry.
Finally, with today’s funding round, Granite is looking to develop the third part of its product, which is resource planning. Soon, you’ll be able to manage Graneet’s sub-contractors and split an invoice into multiple parts for multiple contractors.
Granite customers will be able to invite subcontractors on the platform. They won’t be able to see everything, but they will be able to see what they are working on. Similarly, if you are a Granite customer and you work for a larger company as a subcontractor, you will be able to send monthly progress reports. This should definitely help when it comes to finding new customers for the product.
Later down the road, Granite thinks it can provide even more services to its existing customers. For example, many construction companies work with factoring companies – these companies purchase outstanding invoices and pay them off immediately for cash flow reasons. Granite can also provide upfront payment directly on the platform.
This is just one example of how granite can be helpful. The idea is that manufacturing companies are currently less equipped when it comes to software solutions. If Granite can prove it can fill that gap, there will be plenty of product opportunities.