Soil Connect digs up $3.25M in seed funding to connect those who have soil, with those who need soil via its digital marketplace
Soil Connect, a New York-based tech startup and a provider of a platform created for building professionals who work with soil, today announced that it raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Soil Connect is the first and only institutionally backed digital marketplace focused on the multi-billion-dollar soil and aggregates industry. The platform was created to solve the high costs and inefficiencies associated with the transport and management of soil, aggregates, and other materials.
The round was co-led by TIA Ventures and Heartland Ventures, with participation from a diverse mix of venture capital firms, real estate managers, and construction companies, including CEMEX Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Situs Real Estate, Altmark Group, AB Investment Group, J.G. Pertucci Company, and Bazella Contracting.
The closing of the seed round comes shortly after Soil Connect announced a series of strategic hires to further grow the marketplace’s capabilities, including Jonathan Alvarado as Chief Growth Officer and Berkay Sebat as Head of Mobile. The platform will use the proceeds to continue building out its team and to introduce new enhancements and features, including a regulatory component that will allow users to keep track of materials from origination to destination.
In conjunction with the funding, Soil Connect launched an e-ticketing service that advances its mission to revolutionize the transport and management of soil and aggregates. Historically, the critical ticketing function – which supports the tracking and invoicing of dirt-related transactions – has been completed manually on paper.
Under the antiquated paper system, tickets are often illegible, accidentally discarded, or lost altogether, resulting in a significant loss of time and productivity for contractors. Introducing an easy-to-use digital version brings the process into the 21st century, facilitating seamless and transparent transactions that help users save time and money.
Founded in 2018 by a third-generation builder and developer Cliff Fetner and Daniel Fetner, Soil Connect is digitizing a critical function in the construction industry that had been purely analog for decades. Its platform connects those who have soil, with those who need soil.
Soil Connect marketplace offers a seamless and streamlined solution for excavators, contractors, developers, landscapers and other building professionals to network and transact with one another while saving time and money and positively impacting the environment.
“As a third-generation builder and developer, the most frustrating part of the job for me was how I continually saw technology change the game for other sectors but bypass the soil and aggregates industry,” said Cliff Fetner, Founder and CEO of Soil Connect. “Our goal in launching Soil Connect is not just to create a marketplace, it is to establish the first pure-play one-stop-shop for the industry. Making it easier for these individuals to find or dispose of materials was a critical first step, and the e-ticketing function takes it to the next level, further integrating the platform and advancing our objective of supporting the entire transaction from end to end. It’s also entirely contactless – an important attribute during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Daniel Fetner, Co-founder and Advisor to Soil Connect, and Principal at Alpaca VC, said, “The diverse make-up of the investors in the seed round is a clear reflection of the uniqueness of Soil Connect’s value proposition as well as the compelling market opportunity for a marketplace of this type, which is solving for a significant need in the industry.”
Andy Greenfield, General Partner of TIA Ventures, added, “A large part of our investment strategy focuses on finding companies solving visceral pain in industries that haven’t changed in a very long time. We also love marketplace business models where SaaS tools add incremental value for the users. Cliff and the team have founder-market-fit in spades, and Soil Connect’s marketplace is unique in that their customers sit on both the supply and demand sides. This gives them an advantage in acquiring customers and allows them to scale faster than a typical marketplace.”