Tasmanian startup Varicon has raised $2.25 million in a seed round for its construction cost management software.
The round was led by Sydney VC Black Nova, supported by Andrew Sypkes, Galileo Ventures, and Artesian.
The round also drew participation from Slattery Construction chair Josh Slattery, Tidal Ventures co-founder Murray Bleach, Aconex co-founder Leigh Jasper, and the founders of BlackCap Construction Group.
The fresh funds will underpin national expansion plans to serve medium-to-large construction firms across sectors, including civil contractors, public infrastructure developers, property developers, roads and transport, and demolition contractors.
Co-founder James Baker hopes the software platform will save construction firms billions through cloud-native cost management and real-time analytics.
Baker, along with co-founders Siddhant Shrestha and former Aconex strategic partnerships lead Ofer Assor, designed Varicon for smartphones to help reduce financial risk and simplify on-site cost management.
Baker commented: “Complex projects are being managed by using emails and Excel spreadsheets, exposing contractors to major financial risk – and providing very little visibility over project budgets.
“The construction industry has a dismal record with financial management, highlighted by a series of recent high-profile insolvencies.”
By tracking actual costs versus budget in real time using Varicon, contractors can identify and address cost overruns on the day, rather than months later.
Matt Browne, Black Nova managing partner, said: “Varicon fundamentally supports construction businesses to improve their margins through sophisticated cost management and does so by automating industry best practises.
“We believe the time is right for this product, and initial industry feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The team are industry insiders and set up to build a category-defining business.”
Image: Varicon co-founder James Baker and BlackCap Construction founder James Atkinson (credit: Varicon)
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