Construction insurance company Billy collected an additional 2.5 million dollars

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Construction insurance company Billy raised an additional $2.5 million led by Entrada Ventures and Metaprop, bringing its total funding to $6.7 million.

Nyasha Gutsa and Grant Robbins started the company in 2020 as an epidemic project. Gutsa combines its history in construction product management with Robbins’ decades of construction experience in digitizing and streamlining construction operations.

The company has two revenue models: First, a SaaS platform that collects, verifies and tracks compliance documents such as business licenses and W9 forms for general contractors, developers and property managers. The second model uses data from the SaaS platform to operate a marketplace that provides insurance solutions. Until now, Billy has been used to build high-speed rail projects, as well as residential buildings and houses. Gutsa and Robbins were inspired to open the company after noticing that the risks in the construction sector were increasing.

“No one in construction technology has built a workflow for the insurance industry,” Gutsa told TechCrunch. “This means carriers don’t have visibility into their customers’ exposure, and that’s important because typically on a construction site, two people are injured or killed every hour. That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. Billy provides them with that visibility.

Robbins added that Billy hopes to reduce the confusion and confusion that comes with managing insurance requirements for a project. “We’re seeing an increase in demand from general contractors who enjoy automating all of their compliance management systems,” he said.

As CEO, Gutsa began fundraising for Billy in May 2022 and says he has experienced the normal highs and lows that come with pitching. Last year, black founders raised about 1% of the total capital fund. That’s slightly lower than the record 1.3% set for 2021. “The process was a little difficult,” he recalled.

Billy found his lead, Intrada Ventures, through another investor in the Gutsa and Robbins network. Eric Kanowski, managing partner of Intrada Ventures, told TechCrunch that the firm invested in Billy because he was attracted to the team’s deep knowledge of construction technology. “With this injection of capital, Billy is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this incredible opportunity and can now move quickly to scale,” he said.

Zachary Aaron, founder of Metaprop, which co-led the round, saw Billy’s value. “When I worked as a project manager on small-scale construction projects, I spent most of my time dealing with insurance issues,” he told TechCrunch. “Now, thankfully, there’s an app for that.”

Others in the round include Central Coast Ventures, Gingles and angel investors Doug Hirsch and Levelset founder Scott Wolf. Billy plans to use the money to accelerate sales and increase customer retention. It is a licensed digital broker that represents more than 30 insurance carriers to help them manage the workflow. It has closed a deal to start offering its services to construction software company Procore.

This trip was a full circle for Gutsa. Born in Zimbabwe, he was a childhood pen pal of the late Michael Tyler Fisher, a member of the billionaire Fisher family real estate dynasty. The family flew Gutsa to New York every summer to spend time with Michael until the boy’s death at age 12. After his death, Gutsa kept in touch with his family, and two years before he graduated from high school, he became a fisherman. The family gave a private scholarship in Michael’s honor to work at their construction company.

He worked his way up and learned the ins and outs of construction. He then moved to Procor, where he worked as a senior product manager and was one of the few black employees.

There he helped digitize the construction finance management process. Now, the Fisher family uses Billy to gain the power of insurance and compliance for one of their Las Vegas properties; It was also one of the first black-owned companies to merge into Procor.

“This moment marks the end of a journey that began in Harare, Zimbabwe,” Gutsa said. “I hope my stories inspire others to embrace vulnerability and follow their dreams.”

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