OMERS Ventures Invests $16M In BuildDirect

Vancouver-based, an online destination for heavy weight building materials, announced today it has received a $16 million investment from OMERS Ventures.  The new investment will be used to help accelerate growth for the ecommerce company, expand its team and provide a more extensive product line for customers including professional trades, subcontractors and do-it-yourselfers.

“BuildDirect is a next generation building supplies company, using e-commerce to create what we see as the future of retail. Their advanced technology platform allows them to reduce complexities, provide the best prices and best quality materials to customers, and offers unprecedented data access for supplier forecasting,” said Derek Smyth, Managing Director of OMERS Ventures. “We’re attracted to the opportunity BuildDirect has created to capitalize on the untapped potential of the e-commerce market, as well as the future growth of both the building supply market and adjacent categories.”

This is a huge opportunity for BuildDirect who has found a way to tap into a market that has typically shun away from ecommerce as it suffers from fragmentation and inefficient supply chain, not to mention traditionally very “old-school” thinking.  BuildDirect is leveraging its data-driven platform to profit from an industry that has lagged in e-commerce adoption: the flooring market in the U.S. alone is US$17 billion annually and the broader building product market is US$492 billion. (Source: Catalina Research and US Census Bureau, Lowe’s 10K, 2010)