We want to create a platform that will help you to get information about any construction project in the simplest way.
The construction sector is one of the largest in the world – the market for construction-related products amounts to $10 trillion each year, which is equivalent to 13% of the global GDP. In contrast to other impactful industries, such as finance, food and transport, digitalization is yet to transform the slow-moving construction industry – new business models, innovative solutions and breakthrough technology are yet to emerge. It has resulted in a loss of productivity, equivalent to $1.7 trillion.
Alaa, co-founder and CEO, fled the Syrian war in 2015 on a rubber boat across the Mediterranean and onwards by foot before ending up in Sweden. He was placed at a facility for asylum seekers in Siljanäs, Dalarna, where work opportunities were limited despite his architectural education. He managed to convince a small architect firm in Leksand to take him in as an intern, but in a matter of three weeks, he was permanently employed. During his consecutive time at the firm, he quickly realized the frustration of scattered information in the construction industry. After two years, he met entrepreneur Rim Alexandra Halfya, COO, at an integration event for immigrants, and together they founded Combify.
Today, more than 10,000 projects are tracked daily by Combify, and the list keeps growing. The market need for such a solution is evident by their early traction, where many current clients, according to COO Rim Alexandra, find Combify without prior referrals or marketing communication.
The unique story of Combify founders Alaa Alshawa and Rim Alexandra Halfya caught our attention early on. When following the development of Combify, their incredible journeys manifested as drive, ambition and passion – founder characteristics which we, at BackingMinds, find are success drivers when scaling a startup into a multi-national business. Only weeks after our initial investment, a new tech-team was put in place and started to work on a complete new user interface and the number of tracked projects on the platform reached above 10 000, which echoes the capabilities possessed by this founding team.
Construction projects, both small- and large scaled, are exposed to a number of stakeholders, at times with conflicting interests. The majority of actors in the construction industry still uses traditional, scattered sources of information, static documents and expensive, niched databases, ultimately making the decision-making process complex, costly and time consuming. We identified a need to enhance accessibility of information and thereby allow for more data-driven and sustainable business. With their SaaS-platform, Combify unifies scattered data from numerous sources using machine learning and makes decision making processes in the construction industry smarter as well as more proactive and transparent. In other words – a disruptor of a traditional vertical.