A platform for assessing contractor risk factors has booked a fresh investment of $96 million, part of which will be used to add a stand-alone sustainability product to its existing risk-management services.
Founded in 2008 as a spinoff from a risk-reducing software tool developed by Harvard University to manage its billions in construction projects, ConstructSecure claims it has a large core of users. They include elite construction management firms, such as Skanska, and specialty contracting companies, such as Rosendin Electric.
Based in Burlington, Mass., the company on Jan. 24 announced the investment by Summit Partners, a venture capital and private equity investor. Among its competitors for parts of its services are companies such as BuildingConnected, which operates the TradeTapp risk management platform. It was acquired by Autodesk for $275 million in December.
"Traditionally, safety compliance audits and financial prequalification represented a bar that contracting partners needed to clear to win a bid, and were largely ineffective in identifying areas of risk."
-Austin Merritt, chief executive, ConstructSecure
ConstructSecure currently divides its services into ones that are finance and safety-related and uses the theme "partner elevation," meaning elevation of contractors and vendors, to describe its business service. It combines customary web-based prequalification platforms with continuing risk-management monitoring and coaching of subcontractors and vendors.
“Traditionally, safety compliance audits and financial prequalification represented a bar that contracting partners needed to clear to win a bid, and were largely ineffective in identifying areas of risk," says Austin Merritt, ConstructSecure's chief executive.
The company's risk assessments are continuous and involve more than an an algorithm. “We do have human verification along the way, to be objective," said Merritt.
ConstructSecure asks contractors and vendors to upload data on their companies. After input from ConstructSecure professionals, a risk-assessment rating is produced.
Each contractor and vendor partner gets a safety scorecard analyzing its lagging and leading indicators, with leading indicators weighted slightly more heavily.
The company's president and founder, Garrett Burke, was associate director of occupational safety for Harvard for nearly a decade when he saw the need for such a method to help the university manage the many projects it had underway.
“With partner elevation, " says Merritt, "you’re helping businesses improve.”