Trade Hounds, the largest professional community built exclusively for the construction industry, today announced the closing of its $3.2 million seed funding round. The round was led by prominent seed-stage venture capital firms Corigin Ventures and Brick and Mortar Ventures, both of which have significant experience investing in construction technology startups. Investors in the round include Suffolk Construction, one of the nation’s top construction companies, and CCS Construction Staffing, a premier construction staffing firm, reflecting the important role Trade Hounds plays in connecting participants across the construction ecosystem.
In conjunction with the funding, Trade Hounds announced plans to launch a Jobs platform this summer that links qualified tradespeople with construction companies and staffing firms, enabling fast, seamless communication. Construction companies and the staffing firms that support them stand to benefit from immediate access to a larger pool of qualified candidates, including the passive job seekers who post about their work on Trade Hounds but may not be actively searching for work on job boards. Skilled tradespeople benefit from a community of like-minded professionals where they can showcase their skills and find new career opportunities.
David Broomhead, Co-Founder and CEO of Trade Hounds, said: “It’s always bothered me that tradespeople – the skilled workers who build our hospitals, schools and infrastructure – don’t have access to a technology platform that meets their professional needs. We’ve set out to change this with Trade Hounds. We are proud to be the largest digital platform that aims to unite and empower the millions of proud, hard-hat-wearing workers who are building the world around us.”
Founded by Mr. Broomhead, who comes from an Australian family of tradespeople, Trade Hounds enables its users to interact with each other through their preferred mode of communication: imagery and video. Mr. Broomhead added, “Electricians, plumbers, carpenters – workers across the skilled trades – prefer to ‘show’ their work through photos versus ‘tell’ about in writing. This is why existing professional platforms simply don’t work for this demographic.”
Trade Hounds empowers tradespeople by enabling them to showcase their skills, seek advice, build their networks, and identify compelling job opportunities. The platform has grown rapidly since the mobile app launched in 2019 and now has more than 150,000 registered users. For companies and staffing agencies, Trade Hounds simplifies and shortens the search and hiring process by bringing together qualified job candidates. As a result, the app presents a modern and practical solution to address many of the inefficiencies associated with the $1.3 trillion construction industry.
“Vertical labor marketplaces are the future because they provide a user experience that is tailored to the specific needs of one industry. Construction is a massive industry, but it’s also very unique, therefore it requires a unique solution,” said Co-Founder and CFO Peter Maglathlin. “Now more than ever, as the industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a platform like Trade Hounds is critically important to helping the industry get back to work.”
Trade Hounds plans to use the funds from the seed round to continue to expand the user base, roll out the Jobs platform and expand the team. The Trade Hounds engineering team is led by Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Clark, a founding technologist for a number of Boston-based companies, including previously as CTO of Lionbridge Technologies.
"Construction is an opaque industry based on tribal knowledge with a language of its own,” said Darren Bechtel, Managing Director of Brick & Mortar Ventures. “Therefore, it is not surprising that mainstream technology platforms have failed to serve as a forum for this unique demographic. Men and women working across the various construction trades now have a digital home on Trade Hounds – a place where they are understood and recognized by their peers in the trades."
Ryan Freedman, General Partner of Corigin Ventures, added: “The construction industry remains one of the final frontiers in technology, and to date, most of the innovations that have been introduced to support this space focus on the jobs rather than the people. Trade Hounds’ technology is specifically designed to enhance the lives and advance the careers of skilled tradespeople, as well as support the businesses operating in this massive and important industry.”