By Riley Kaminer
When Alejandro Ruiz Lara was about to release the MVP for his construction tech startup, CheckToBuild, he and his team did an exhaustive market analysis to determine the perfect first market for their launch.
In the running: Latin America, the UK, and the US. (Ruiz Lara, whose family works in construction, had already decided that they wanted to seek a larger market than what Spain could provide.)
“The product-market fit was there in the US,” Ruiz Lara told Refresh Miami, noting that the construction tech market was mature enough for there to be space for CheckToBuild’s offering.
Software engineer Ruiz Lara also already had connections stateside, having completed his master’s at UC Berkeley. But when the time came to actually land in the US, Ruiz Lara did not go back to his Bay Area roots. Rather, he decided to locate the company in Miami.
“It’s pretty obvious that Florida is growing so much,” he said. “Even the doctors are realtors too!” He noted that a significant amount of talent has moved to South Florida since the pandemic, making it a smart place for a rapidly-growing company. Ruiz Lara also acknowledged that being in Miami keeps the door open for Latin America, where he hopes to eventually bring CheckToBuild.
“I was always a Silicon Valley guy – I loved that tech community,” Ruiz Lara said. “But when I went to Miami, I could see that the city was planting the seeds for something even better. Miami is a much more multicultural environment and provides the best of American business opportunities and the Latin American way of living.”
CheckToBuild’s platform automates contractors’ quality and progress control processes using artificial intelligence. Users upload videos of the construction site and in a matter of minutes are provided with insights into what’s wrong, what’s right, and what progress has been made.
“That means that we make a project more profitable and more efficient,” Ruiz Lara asserted, since typically this process is done manually once or twice a week by a team of people in the field and analysts in the office. “Our customers can make decisions in seconds rather than having to wait weeks – that’s our value proposition.”
CheckToBuild was founded in May 2020 and moved to Miami in March 2022. In 2021, CheckToBuild raised a $200,000 pre-seed round. After the move stateside, the company raised around half a million dollars – and then they raised another half million since launching. Ruiz Lara signaled that the company hopes to close a $3 million round towards the end of next year.
Since 2020, CheckToBuild has taken on upwards of 20 projects. In their first full year of business, 2022, they had $100,000 in revenue – and in the first half of 2023, they have already sold $200,000 worth of pilot projects. This includes the integration of CheckToBuild’s platform into a construction site robot.
The team continues to tweak their user experience and improve the speed of their platform. By the end of September, the onboarding to CheckToBuild’s SaaS platform will be completely automatic.
“There is no company that has covered this gap,” said Ruiz Lara. “We’re excited to be that company.”
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