David Peters knows construction: he has spent almost his entire career in the industry, including over 10 years running his own residential construction and renovation firm.
During the past five years, Peters’ company, Peters Build, honed in on the roofing sector. “I just decided, look, we’ve got to focus on something here, right?” Peters told BetaKit in an interview. “We can’t just be everything for everybody.”
As a roofing contractor, Peters discovered his “biggest pain point was never installing roofs, it was estimating them.”
Peters’ “biggest pain point was never installing roofs, it was estimating them.”
Now, Peters has set out to build a mobile calculation engine that solves this problem for other roofing contractors, and enables them to generate accurate roofing documents “on-site in minutes instead of hours.” RoofBundle, his Winnipeg-based startup, has secured $500,000 CAD in pre-seed funding and the support of other construction players to do just that.
“I tried every other piece of software and none of them were really that great,” said Peters, RoofBundle’s founder and CEO. “It just came down to—I had this pain point, I think I can solve it, I’m young enough that I can make a shift and try my hand at a startup company and try and solve this problem through software.”
RoofBundle’s all-equity February pre-seed round was led by Winnipeg-based Red Leaf Capital, with support from a group of undisclosed angel investors that includes construction experts and industry vets like Dan Huberdeau, a Manitoba-based roofing contractor. The capital brings RoofBundle’s total funding to $600,000.
Founded in 2020, RoofBundle is developing a mobile app that allows roofing contractors to input roof measurements and generate a quote, bill of materials, and work order in a fraction of the time it typically takes. According to Peters, this process, which typically involves either pulling out a calculator and a carbon-copy paper template or a laptop, traditionally takes about two hours.
“I have had other roofing or construction app invites before but didn’t care for them,” Huberdeau told BetaKit. “David was in the very early stages of development, so I was able to share my concerns and ideas of what I thought worked and didn’t. I had been using an in-house set of Excel spreadsheets that I’d developed over my years, however, David was able to take them to the next level.”
RoofBundle is part of a growing wave of Canadian construction tech companies that have sought to service the historically slow to innovate sector with tech solutions. This group includes Montréal-based building material delivery startup RenoRun, Toronto project management software firm Bridgit, and Kitchener-Waterloo heavy equipment rental company Dozr, which, like RoofBundle, have all sought to solve specific problems with construction.
“[RoofBundle] just came from that pain point that I had of not being able to do it on your phone, not being able to do it while I’m up on a roof—because you’re not dragging a laptop up there,” said Peters.
According to Peters, there’s no other software that allows you to input roof measurements to generate documents, let alone any mobile solutions that do so, as comparable apps are mostly web-based. “That’s our biggest competitive advantage,” he said.
But the coming RoofBundle app might ultimately not be the startup’s biggest product. To prepare for the launch of RoofBundle, the startup quietly rolled out another app through RoofBundle, called ConstructionClock.
“I got this bright idea, which at first was probably a mistake, but now is our saving grace,” said Peters. “I had never built an app before, so I was scared to launch this big [RoofBundle] app. So then I built and launched this [other] really small app that solved another specific problem that I had in the construction industry.”
ConstructionClock sets out to address the issue of time theft by helping construction company owners track employee work hours and locations using geolocation data.
According to Peters, “there’s tons of solutions in [the time theft] space.” But, before launching ConstructionClock, RoofBundle conducted some market analysis through which it learned that the majority of construction company owners weren’t using time-tracking apps because of their difficulty.
“They said to us: hard to use, too many options, too many features,” said Peters. “So we stripped [ConstructionClock] down—we were like, let’s just give them three amazing features.”
“What we did is we just made one that solves it very specifically for construction,” said Peters, who claimed ConstructionClock’s simplicity has been a big part of the reason for its popularity.
“I bet you, 50 percent of my investors think … ConstructionClock is going to become our company.”
“It turned out that that app is doing really well for us,” said Peters, adding that RoofBundle has “learned a ton” from the process of building and rolling out ConstructionClock.
Given ConstructionClock’s scalability and the fact that it caters to a much broader total addressable market, some of RoofBundle’s backers believe it could be bigger than its roofing solution.
“There’s a share of my investors—I bet you, 50 percent of my investors think that this small app that we built called ConstructionClock is going to become our company and be far superior than our RoofBundle app,” said Peters.
Going forward, RoofBundle plans to run and grow both apps. Down the road, Peters said the startup hopes to offer “a suite of apps that are all in the construction industry that all complement each other.”
Feature image of David Peters courtesy RoofBundle.