Matrak, A Startup In The Construction Supply Chain, Raises $2.9 Million As China Calls

Matrak, A Startup In The Construction Supply Chain, Raises $2.9 Million As China Calls

Streamlining supply chains for the construction industry, Melbourne-based startup Matrak has secured $2.9 million in a Series A round that it hopes will help create a presence near to the industry’s manufacturing base in China.

Leading the most recent round is G&M Capital, with assistance from former Aconex chairman Simon Yencken and Sydney-based venture capital firm Our Innovation Fund.

Matrak was established in 2018 by Shane and Brett Hodgkins. Since then, it has monitored over 1.2 million materials for its clients, including Multiplex, Lendlease, John Holland, and Hutchinson Builders.

With more than 280 customers across manufacturers, suppliers, and builders, Matrak claims to be revolutionizing construction supply chains with connected materials tracking, which lowers costs and boosts industry dependability.

The $2.9 million raised in the most recent capital round will be utilized to strengthen the company’s balance sheet as it officially launches Matrak China, a partnership with Singapore-based venture capital firm G&M Capital, which the company claims represents a critical milestone in Matrak’s goal to revolutionize the industry worldwide.

The founder of G&M Capital, Lim Gu, states, “We are focused on the smart construction sector and are always on the lookout for innovative, rising startups like Matrak.”

“We are therefore excited to strengthen our legacy of international collaboration by investing in Matrak’s China office in order to support local clients as they reach out to the global market.

“Partnering with Matrak underscores our investment commitment to enhancing transparency and trust in global manufacturing supply chains and our support for global innovative startups.”

When Shane saw how difficult it was to manually track and manage materials for the company while working for his father’s façade installation business, Masterlite, the Hodgkins brothers founded Matrak.

Together with his brother Brett, they created a digital supply chain management platform that is accessible to everyone.

Over the previous six years, Matrak has provided assistance with a number of projects, including the Victorian Heart Hospital, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, Melbourne’s 65-story Aspire project, and Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf development by The Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR).

According to Matrak CEO Shane Hodgkins, the company’s current investors and G&M Capital’s backing were essential to the company’s objectives for global expansion.

“Having a permanent presence on the ground means we’ll be able to support them a lot more closely, not only with their Australian projects but their other export projects around the world,” Hodgkins tells Business News Australia. “We’ve been working with our customer in China since the very beginning.”

“We currently have customers in 14 countries with a very sizeable presence in Hong Kong as well as a number of manufacturing hubs such as Canada, the US and UK.

“For companies that have very long-term relationships with Australia, our goal is to help them get the same materials tracking transparency anywhere in the world.”

Hodgkins remarks that “the whole industry has been ready for new ways of working together, particularly for critical construction materials” in reference to Matrak’s expansion over the previous six years.

“As we’ve started to see more Gen-Xers take leadership roles, we have seen a lot more tech adoption in construction and particularly in being able to connect for long lead-time items and things that are on the critical path. That’s where we are seeing a lot of different companies trying to work together.”

According to Hodgkins, controlling expenses is essential in the construction industry. Matrak aims to “unlock more sustainable procurement worldwide” and reduce risk in important supplier chains.

“As we’ve seen quite a bit in the industry recently, there are severe penalties for missing deadlines on any construction project, to the point where they can drive businesses into bankruptcy.

“For companies, being able to stop those delays from happening and avoid those financial penalties is just a lifesaver.”

G&M Capital was contacted by Matrak for the first time in 2019 and has been monitoring the company’s development ever since. Matrak’s involvement in the Austrade Landing Pads initiative is what prompted this most recent investment.

“Austrade continues to play a pivotal role in enabling Australian startups to be successful in China and they particularly support start-ups who promote sustainability, like Matrak.”

The Australian Trade & Investment Commission’s (Austrade) Shanghai Landing Pad manager, Emily Ma, claims that she collaborated closely with the Hodgkins brothers to make it easier for Matrak to enter the Chinese market.

“I am deeply impressed by the two founders, for their resilience, vision, and willingness to embrace new markets,” she says.

“These fundamental qualities have undoubtedly contributed to their success, traits I believe resonate strongly with investors as well.”