MyComply has secured $5.6 million CAD ($4.5 million USD) and the support of construction industry angel investors to expand the presence of its construction workforce compliance and management platform across the United States (US).
After experiencing difficulty selling its construction tech solution to Canadian companies, the Saskatoon and Brooklyn-based startup turned south of the border. In an interview with BetaKit, MyComply co-founder and CEO Mark Wolff said the firm is taking “the path of least resistance” by targeting large markets in the US.
“We went to New York because, just like going to prison, you go into the yard, you find the biggest guy, you knock him out, and then you’re a somebody.”
With the help of its seed financing and a five-year contract with New York City’s Department of Buildings that Wolff describes as the company’s “growth hack,” MyComply is ready to start scaling, beginning with New York City—North America’s largest construction market.
“We went to New York because, just like going to prison, you go into the yard, you find the biggest guy, you knock him out, and then you’re a somebody,” said Wolff.
Founded in 2015, MyComply has built a platform that helps ensure construction site compliance and provides workforce data. The startup’s solution combines IoT hardware and software to help general contracting firms verify safety training and reduce risk on construction sites.
MyComply’s seed round represents the company’s first venture financing to date. The $5.6 million consists of $3.7 million CAD ($3 million USD) in capital from Wolff and a group of undisclosed individuals from the Saskatchewan business community “generally tied to industries that are related to construction,” and nearly $2 million CAD ($1.58 million USD) in non-dilutive funding from Canada’s federal government, including through NSERC.
Wolff described Canadian construction companies as “laggards in adopting technology.”
After trying to sell its solution in Canada, MyComply discovered that the country’s largest construction firms look to bigger markets like the US to pilot new technologies before implementing such solutions themselves. When MyComply started exploring the US market, it soon learned that American companies were “far less afraid” to test and adopt new tech.
MyComply isn’t the only Canadian construction tech startup to face this issue and turn to the US—Brampton-based software company SmartBuild encountered the same barriers and took a similar approach.
Currently, the vast majority of MyComply’s business is in the US. In New York, where the Saskatoon-headquartered startup has established an office, MyComply found a construction market that was “very accepting” of tech and MyComply’s solution.
For MyComply, focusing on the US also made sense from a market size standpoint. According to Wolff, the total amount of construction taking place in Canada is less than that of California.
MyComply’s “primary focus” right now is on New York and the northeastern US. The company also has its sights set on going after Florida, Texas, and California—three of the country’s largest construction markets. In New York, MyComply has already been working with big enterprise construction firms with a presence across North America.
Since establishing a foothold in the US, MyComply has seen demand for its solution rise in Canada. “We’ve started to have uptick in Canada, but it was really driven by our success with large federal contractors in the US,” said Wolff.
When MyComply first launched, Wolff said “there weren’t a lot of competitors.” But as the company has grown and “widened its lane,” competitors have emerged.
According to Wolff, most of MyComply’s competitors operate in “a very company-centric, point solution” fashion, whereas MyComply concentrates on the individual worker and the features around them.
MyComply faces competitors in spaces like access control and certification management. Wolff argues that what differentiates MyComply from the rest of the field is its combination software-hardware approach, which involves bringing all of these capabilities together to manage a variety of construction projects.
“Having all of the solutions to manage all types of projects is really a differentiator for us,” said Wolff. “We look at MyComply as a platform, not just a point solution.”
MyComply’s broader vision is to become “a global workforce hub for the construction industry.”
“The mission surrounds empowering general contractors to ensure a verified workforce on all job sites,” said Wolff. “Once you’re able to do that, in an individual worker profile-centric way, you can do a lot of different things.”
According to Wolff, these things include gathering data associated with time, attendance, and worker qualifications, functions like access control, and the ability to share safety certification and training documents.
On the tech side, MyComply’s product development plans include refining its passive worker detection and mobile experience.
Going forward, the company hopes to add to its time and attendance tech capabilities, incorporate the ability to integrate with payroll solutions, and tie into feature sets for insurance.
Feature image courtesy MyComply.