Gravel, the innovative tech startup based in Jakarta, has successfully secured $14 million in funding. The investment, led by prominent backers including New Enterprise Associate (NEA) and Weili Tai, marks a pivotal moment for Gravel as it strives to revolutionize the construction industry’s labor dynamics.
Ambitious Expansion Plans Following Successful Funding Round
Gravel, founded in 2019, initially emerged as an app connecting users with construction workers. Over the years, the platform has evolved with four key features: Gravel Construction for daily hires, Gravel Borongan for flat-rate contract work, Gravel Maintenance for on-demand repairs, and Gravel Material for ordering tools and materials. The startup claims an impressive 45x revenue growth between 2020 and 2022, employing 1.7 million people and facilitating 6,000 projects across 20 Indonesian provinces.
The latest funding round saw participation from major investors, including NEA, Weili Tai of Marvell Technology Group, Lip-Bu Tan of Cadence Design System, SMDV, East Ventures, and strategic investors. Notably, this marks NEA’s first investment in Southeast Asia, signifying the region’s attractiveness for global venture capital.
Gravel’s Founders Spearheading a Construction Revolution
Gravel’s co-founders, Chairman Nicholas Sutardja and Co-CEOs Georgi Ferdwindra Petra and Fredy Yanto, envision a future where sourcing qualified construction workers is no longer a cumbersome process. Petra, drawing on his experience in the construction industry, highlighted the inefficiencies faced in large projects, prompting the birth of Gravel.
Before Gravel, sourcing skilled workers involved relying on personal networks or recruiting large groups from villages. Gravel addresses this challenge by connecting users with service providers through a personalized job feed, drastically reducing the time it takes to find the right talent.
Enhancing Workers’ Financial Resilience and Well-being
Gravel not only streamlines the hiring process but also emphasizes workers’ financial resilience. Daily construction workers are paid within 24 hours through Gravel’s payment system, fostering improved performance on the job. The platform offers additional benefits for workers, including ongoing employment opportunities, workshops, certificate training, a loyalty program, and health and well-being support.
Carmen Chang, NEA partner and Asia head, expressed excitement about Gravel’s potential to advance Indonesia’s construction industry through technology. With plans to enter international markets, Gravel aims to continue transforming the construction landscape by providing efficient solutions for both workers and service providers. The platform’s real-time analysis of project activities and future plans for predictive models showcase its commitment to innovation in the construction tech space.