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BuildDirect secures $27M to challenge Lowe’s, Home Depot

If you’re shopping for new flooring on BuildDirect, you can’t run your hands along the wood grain, but you may save some money.

The Canadian company, which challenges brick-and-mortar chains like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards with its online-only home improvement store, has secured a sizable investment to continue its recent growth and push further into the consumer market.

BuildDirect has raised $30 million CAD (about $27.3 million USD) in its second institutional funding round, the company announced today. It will use the cash to scale up the team — from 175 people now to more than 400 by the end of the year — and add about 20 new product categories to the site.

Founded in 1999 by a former builder, the Vancouver-based company works directly with over 130 manufacturers and posts about $100 million in annual sales. The key to its business is its predictive analytics, which enables the company to predict what customers want and when they want it, a spokesperson told VentureBeat. Data also helps the company streamline the “fragmented and inefficient” home improvement product supply chain, minimizing shipping distances and driving down prices with bids from a network of carriers.

BuildDirect has seen 100 percent customer growth since last year, according to a company representative. Around 85 percent of its customers are in the U.S., while the remainder are in Canada. The company sells to contractors and do-it-yourself customers, with an average order size of over $2,000 that weighs around 1,500 pounds.

Venture capital firm Mohr Davidow Ventures led the $27.3 million funding round in BuildDirect. BDC Venture Capital also participated.

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Founded in 1999, BuildDirect is an e-commerce provider completely disrupting the retail building products industry by bridging the gap between the manufacturer and end user. By simplifying the supply chain, solving a heavy freight ship... read more »

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