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Soil Connect to Establish Digital Storefronts in Partnership With Local Construction Materials Suppliers

Wed June 15, 2022 - National Edition
Soil Connect

Soil Connect is rolling out a QuickStart program to partner with local construction materials suppliers across the United States — including quarries, recycling facilities, landscape suppliers, asphalt and cement plants, and sand and gravel locations.

Soil Connect's QuickStart program creates digital storefronts for local material suppliers to sell their materials directly to the platform's growing user base of construction professionals. Soil Connect also has secured fresh funding led by new investors Stellifi VC and GS Futures. Both firms launched their venture capital units in the last 12 months, and both were born out of traditional real estate and construction firms.

GS Futures is an early-stage corporate venture arm of GS Group, a leading Korean conglomerate with operations in the Energy, Constructions and Retail, looking for investment and business development opportunities in climate, energy transition, construction and retail innovations. Stellifi was formed by the partners of OTH Capital, an Austin-based Real Estate Private Equity & Development firm.

The QuickStart program supports Soil Connect's broader market expansion plans by more rapidly driving listings of available materials for construction professionals at the local level, while providing suppliers access to a self-serve suite of tools to more effectively market and sell their product.

As part of the program, Soil Connect builds a company profile for local businesses to "claim" and take ownership of. The material supplier can then adjust the types and quantities of material that the business wants to market as part of their digital storefront on the Soil Connect marketplace.

Soil Connect will initially launch the program in Indianapolis on July 27 before rapidly rolling it out to markets across the United States.

Cliff Fetner, founder and CEO of Soil Connect, said, "We are pleased to launch this new QuickStart program and welcome Stellifi VC and GS Futures as investors to further accelerate the growth of our platform.

"As longtime construction professionals, we founded Soil Connect to address many of the frustrations we had experienced in trading and transporting soil, aggregates and other construction materials — and our reputation has preceded us in markets across the country as our colleagues have proactively joined and started transacting on our platform. However, as we've scaled, we've recognized that there is an untapped opportunity to create value for local materials suppliers as well."

Jonathan Alvarado, chief growth officer of Soil Connect, said, "These sellers reflect the industry in that many still operate on analog systems and for the most part do not have the capability or budget to develop and manage an online store. In claiming their digital Soil Connect storefronts, suppliers gain immediate, hassle-free access to our rapidly growing community of construction professionals and a more efficient way to move product, while providing added supply liquidity to our platform to drive increased transaction volume — it's truly a win-win for all stakeholders."

Paolo Boero, managing partner of Stellifi VC said, "We are honored to join such a highly respected and well-rounded mix of leading venture capital firms and construction strategics who have invested in Soil Connect. The incredibly inefficient way that construction professionals transact and track the transportation of dirt and aggregates between job sites is a serious problem that has plagued the industry since its inception. In a short timeframe, Soil Connect has already established a solutions-orientated platform with a market-leading position that has changed the landscape for the better. We are big believers in what the team is doing, and look forward to using our relationships to help expand the platform."

In addition to its QuickStart program, Soil Connect continues to invest in and enhance its technology to advance its mission to be a full-stack, end-to-end solution for the construction industry. Most recently, the platform built a new tech stack to support its marketplace, allowing Soil Connect to introduce new services and features to its community. This will include, among other things, the ability to triangulate and secure transport for materials within the app, as well as enhancing The Daily Dig job site monitoring service.

Taehong Huh, managing partner of GS Futures, the corporate venture capital entity of GS Group, one of Asia's leading conglomerates, said, "Soil Connect continues to optimize its platform, making it a compelling investment for investors that not only have real estate and construction expertise, but also sophisticated venture capital teams who can add value to its business. We're thrilled to be one of these investors, and look forward to helping Soil Connect leverage its portfolio and user base to facilitate exponential growth in the years to come."

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