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Minneapolis software startup gets $2.3M in funding, signs Ryan Cos. as client

Minneapolis Star Tribune logo Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13/2021 Nick Williams, Star Tribune

A Minneapolis company that created software designed to help construction companies save money and boost efficiency by monitoring projects from afar is quickly gaining some big name users of its product.

Founded in 2016, SiteKick's software captures images from smart cameras and environmental readings from sensors at the construction sites. The information is uploaded into a cloud infrastructure, where machine learning looks for objects of interest in the images, like people. The virtual presence system then produces real-time and historical data on construction progress, safety and productivity at the sites.

Monitoring and recording that data are typically performed manually. With real-time data at their disposal, superintendents, foremen and project managers can "extend their resources to work on more projects," CEO Tom Wolfe said.

SiteKick, which emerged from stealth mode a little over a year ago, has about 20 clients, ranging from local general contractors to multibillion-dollar Minneapolis commercial real estate company Ryan Cos., said Wolfe, who along with most of his team has a background in enterprise software.

On average, the users of SiteKick save 53% in monitoring and site costs, and realize a 15% increase in field productivity, he said.

Wolfe and his team are planning to scale the business after closing on $2.3 million in a seed round of funding from private investors. The capital will be applied to sales and marketing, talent acquisition, streamlining, customer experience and operations, and general growth of the company, Wolfe said.

In March, Ryan Cos. announced it had entered into a "programmatic relationship" with SiteKick, saying the software will be used for the company's senior living projects across the country.

Ryan has over 20 senior living projects starting in the next 24 months that will use SiteKick.

"By rolling this out to our teams across the country, we're offering a customer-centric solution that streamlines processes while reducing our overall spend," said Matt Sayre, Ryan's vice president of construction, in a statement about the partnership.

Investors in SiteKick include Minnesota firms Great North Ventures, Bootstrappers.mn and Rice Park Capital, and Sirish Samba, president and CEO of Minnetonka-based Sambatek.

Pradip Madan, a Silicon Valley-based managing partner at Great North Ventures, has more than 20 years experience in monitoring technology. With more infrastructure projects coming back online in a post-pandemic world, he said SiteKick's technology has the potential to be used widely by the construction industry and the parties involved in construction projects, like banks and building tenants.

"Given the size of these construction projects, the importance of catching things proactively and the difficulty of monitoring 24 by 7 across all of these dimensions, this kind of capability is very valuable," Madan said.

Procore Technologies — a California based construction management software company that has been used for more than $1 trillion in construction projects — placed SiteKick's app in its marketplace, making it visible to its thousands of customers around the globe, Wolfe said.

"We're seeing customers that have a national presence bringing us in," Wolfe said.

Nick Williams • 612-673-4021

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