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Soil Connect Secures Strategic Financing Led by Heartland Ventures

Thu September 30, 2021 - National Edition
Soil Connect


Soil Connect— a digital marketplace connecting those who have soil, aggregates and other building materials with those who need it — announced that it has raised additional strategic funding led by Heartland Ventures.

The round also included participation from existing investors CEMEX Ventures, TIA Ventures and AB Investment Group, as well as new investors Romulus Capital/EquipmentShare and ARKA Ventures.

Soil Connect will use the funds to continue to build out its technology, product infrastructure and team to advance its mission to be a one-stop shop for all things dirt-related.

"We have created and are scaling a digital marketplace that is entirely unique and meets a clear need for the construction industry," said Cliff Fetner, founder and CEO of Soil Connect.

"Our ability to drive critical efficiencies that save time and money has led to rapid adoption and enabled Soil Connect to serve as an essential jobsite tool for our users. This proof of concept is reflected in the fact that Heartland, CEMEX and TIA have all increased their stakes alongside new investments from Romulus Capital/EquipmentShare and AKRA Ventures.

"These investors recognize the significant value we bring to the table, as well as the tremendous market opportunity that exists for us to continue introducing products that provide innovative solutions to an antiquated industry."

Since announcing its seed round, Soil Connect has continued to make progress expanding its offering with the introduction of its eRegulatory module, which eliminates paper tickets and automatically captures and saves essential truck, load and route data, allowing users to easily share with regulatory bodies and other stakeholders. Furthermore, Soil Connect's eTickets product continues to prove highly beneficial by digitizing contractors' entire administrative workflow. The company's ability to continue to innovate has further enhanced its value proposition and fueled the expansion of its user base.

Mark Accomando, partner at Heartland, who was named to Soil Connect's board of directors in conjunction with the funding, added, "Our decision to increase the fund's investment in Soil Connect was largely based on feedback from those who play in the dirt — many of whom are our LPs, comprising large general contractors, earthworks contractors and firms focused on aggregate and asphalt production, transit and sales. The Soil Connect marketplace resonated with all of them, up and down the value chain.

"It's become clear that Soil Connect's in-the-dirt experience allows them to build trust with folks working with their hands. Cliff and his team are not Silicon Valley programmers – they're construction leaders that know the customer. This is a huge advantage in an industry often wary of technology."

In addition to appointing Accomando to its board of directors, Soil Connect named four highly respected construction professionals to its advisory board, including:

  • William Sandbrook: former chairman of the board, president and CEO of U.S. Concrete. In total, Sandbrook spent 29 years in the heavy construction materials industry, and currently serves on the board of directors of Comfort Systems USA and NITROcrete.
  • Steve Dell'Orto: former SVP of Clark Construction, where he spent 26 years, and founder and CEO of ConCntric, a construction-tech predictive analytics platform.
  • Aaron Toppston: managing director of Infrastructure Investments & Strategic Planning at Walsh Investment Group.
  • Zach Scheel: co-founder and CEO of construction management software startup Rhumbix.

Soil Connect also has made significant progress building out its team, bringing on eight new hires over the last six months. These professionals have diverse and complementary skillsets that are key to advancing Soil Connect's strategic priorities.

Gonzalo Galindo, head of CEMEX Ventures, said, "After piloting Soil Connect in Florida, we continue to see great value in the solutions Cliff and his team are bringing to the table. At its core, the Soil Connect team is made up of people who deeply understand the critical pain points we face in the industry, and they are coming to market with solutions that allow us to more efficiently and cost effectively manage materials. Furthermore, by continuing to invest in Soil Connect, we are advancing CEMEX's Climate Action Strategy by propelling the adoption of tools that give new life to materials that would have otherwise been discarded."

Willy Schlacks, co-founder and CEO of EquipmentShare, said, "We are excited for the future of construction as a result of transformative marketplaces like Soil Connect. Soil Connect is modernizing the way soil, aggregates and other materials are transported, tracked and monitored. Having the opportunity to invest in such an innovative company alongside some of the most respected names in the industry was something we could not pass up, especially given the significant overlap in our user bases and our shared desire to provide construction professionals with solutions to their biggest obstacles. We look forward to what's ahead for Soil Connect and working closely with Cliff and the rest of its team."

For more information on the Soil Connect digital marketplace, eTickets, eRegulatory and its expanding suite of services, visit www.soilconnect.com.




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