1. Startups

Gravel Construction Digitalization Startup Receives IDR 216 Billion in Funding

Investors participating in this round: New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Weili Dai, Lip-Bu Tan, SMDV, East Ventures, and others

Construction technology startup Gravel announced funding of $14 million (around IDR 216 billion) from a number of investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Weili Dai (Co-founder of Marvell Technology), Lip-Bu Tan (Executive Chairman of Cadence Design Systems and Chairman of Walden International), SMDV, East Ventures, along with other strategic investors.

This support strengthens Gravel's position to expand its presence in the global construction technology sector. The company plans to launch a predictive model designed to efficiently monitor project progress.

Gravel was founded in 2019 by Georgi Ferdwindra Putra, Fredy Yanto, and Nicholas Sutardja. They exist as an application that connects customers with skilled construction workers, ranging from artisan partners to tens of thousands of people (called Dulur), forming strong collaborations with contractors, architects, consultants, material suppliers, and the government.

Over time, Gravel expanded its services by providing integrated construction services. Gravel technology not only connects customers with quality craftsmen, but also opens up access to construction equipment, building materials and expert teams, making construction, renovation, repair of residences, offices and commercial spaces more efficient.

There are four features in the application to answer industry demands for holistic construction services:

  • Daily Gravel for looking for builders, Wholesale Gravel for projects with budget agreements,
  • Gravel Maintenance for residential repairs, and
  • Gravel Material for shopping for building materials.
  • All these features are connected with SalamChat – app instant messaging which Gravel developed to facilitate smooth communication and collaboration between the parties involved.

In carrying out the principles fairness for consumers (application users) and business partners (construction workers), Gravel implements a reasonable pricing system and fair standards for both parties. Gravel craftsman pricing is still within the market price range by ensuring that the value received by consumers is measurable and proportional to the quality of the services provided.

For this reason, Gravel provides craftsmen who have quality skills according to construction industry standards and are experienced. Every craftsman who wants to become a partner must go through a strict skills selection stage.

Apart from value that is balanced with price, consumers also get price transparency and employee information through the Gravel application. The craftsman's skills and experience can be checked first before placing an order. This openness not only makes consumers trust, but also makes it easier for them because they no longer need to negotiate prices which are often tough and the unclear quality of work that often occurs when looking for craftsmen using conventional methods.

Gravel Application

Gravel Co-Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer Georgi Ferdwindra Putra said, in the Gravel ecosystem, customers can meet with architects or design studios to create building concepts and drawings, appoint licensed contractors that suit their type of development and budget.

Then, employ craftsmen whose skills have been tested to obtain quality building materials and construction tools. Once the project is complete, customers can utilize building repair and maintenance services to ensure that it remains in prime condition.

"So, customers and construction project actors are equally empowered in every process," he explained in an official statement, Monday (4/12).

To support the construction sector, the company optimizes smart matching technology which is called Personalized Job Feed to simplify the process of matching craftsmen with project needs. This technology ensures customers get a high-quality fitter in just one and a half minutes.

This time is very far from the conventional process of finding a handyman which on average takes 5-14 days. This technology not only speeds up the construction process but also substantially reduces costs. In addition, the Gravel data platform is able to provide real-time analysis of project activities real-time which is useful in data-based decision making.

Going forward, Gravel will launch AI-based predictive models designed to efficiently monitor project progress and promote greater accuracy.

Gravel Co-Founder and Chairman Dr. Nicholas Sutardja added, “Our innovative strategy is not only revolutionizing the industry but also improving the lives of construction workers throughout Indonesia. I am proud of Gravel's accomplishments because it is more than just a business. There are missions with high social impact of which Indonesia is just the beginning, because impact"It can spread globally," he said.

Within two years, it is claimed that Gravel grew 45 times. More than 6 thousand projects spread across 20 provinces have been handled. Its portfolio includes large projects, such as the Jabodetabek LRT, Jakarta International Stadium, Pelni Hospital, Keong Mas IMAX Theater, to various residential development and renovation projects.

Construction market share

Gravel's solid performance is an attraction for investors entering this round. NEA Partner, Chairman and Head of Asia Carmen Chang said, Gravel is her first investment in Southeast Asia. He believes that there is a prospective use of technology to improve the Indonesian construction industry.

“We are confident that the strength of the Gravel team will have an impact on Indonesia and the global construction industry. "We hope that our support can encourage the growth and expansion of Gravel's business in the future," said Chang.

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SMDV Principal Edward Judokusumo added, in the midst of Indonesia's intense pursuit of equitable development throughout the archipelago, Gravel technology has emerged as a driving force that can support the growth of national development. Gravel will also be a key collaborator in supporting the growth of the Sinar Mas ecosystem.

“Gravel applies modern and sustainable construction practices that can respond to Sinar Mas's growing business. "This collaboration is not only in line with Sinar Mas' values, but also a catalyst for progress at Sinar Mas in various sectors."

Currently, Gravel is undergoing a discussion process with several leading companies regarding potential construction projects, including Sinarmas Land, the large property developer behind the BSD City, Kota Deltamas and Grand Wisata projects. This collaboration will include development in residential areas, commercial spaces, hotels, convention centers and industrial areas.

Regarding the global expansion vision, Gravel believes that its technological solutions can be implemented more widely globally. For this reason, Gravel is currently strengthening its readiness to enter the realm of international construction technology.

Gravel consistently welcomes cooperation on various projects, from small to large scale, such as the construction of public facilities, restaurant chains, shopping areas, and is ready to take an important role in the National Capital (IKN) development project.

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