Proptech Startup Fohlio Raises $3.15 Million Seed Round
Procurement workflow software company seeks to cut costs for multisite property owners
Proptech startup Fohlio announced Tuesday that it has closed a $3.2 million seed round led by Brick & Mortar Ventures. Fohlio seeks to provide multiple-location real estate owners with a uniform, centralized and digitized architecture and construction procurement process.
Organizations such as fast-food franchises, retail stores and various chains, as well as churches and other not-for-profits, are “struggling with coordinating with different architects, contractors and locations to make sure that they have the right list of products to purchase and purchase them on time,” said Huibin Yu, CEO and founder of Fohlio.
Such multisite organizations still use Excel spreadsheets and email to track work at varied locations, causing inefficiencies and a lack of cost control, Yu said.
Fohlio’s software as a service, or SaaS, platform standardizes and makes clearer the purchasing workflow, providing vendor volume discounting to clients. The startup says it lowers product selection, procurement and maintenance costs across a network of locations and teams by standardizing brand guidelines and other aspects of the process.
“Think about any franchise like McDonald’s, like Starbucks, or day care franchises, retail stores and even government organizations like public schools,” Yu said. “You have many public schools in your city and they all need to follow the same process and approved guidelines. Any organization with a network of locations that has repeatable projects” is a potential client.
“One of the reasons why we invested [in Fohlio] was that we’ve been looking at the overall procurement space, especially material procurement in construction,” said Alice Leung, vice president of platform and product strategy at Brick & Mortar. “We’ve been looking at that space for a really long time, and during our research we found that some of the biggest problems with procurement generally is that there’s a lot of product information out there that is needed in the decision-making process. There are materials that come from the whole supply chain.”
That supply chain encompasses ongoing work updates and requests from and between architects, product suppliers, contractors and owners, Leung said. The result is a blizzard of nonstandardized Excel spreadsheets and databases for different locations that is a major pain for all involved.
“We learned that Fohlio was fully able to architect a product with a database that allows every part of that stakeholder to provide the necessary information at the right time in that whole process,” Leung said. “That’s one of the big reasons why we invested in the product today. We think that there’s a trove of data that’s being stored in that product.”
A Chinese immigrant, working mother and sole founder who started out working on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, Yu said she is proud of how Fohlio has grown. The startup boasts a 100 percent increase in organization size and a 200 percent increase in new sales revenue year over year from 2021 to 2022, according to Fohlio’s announcement of the closing of its seed funding round. That capital will be used to develop better and stronger software features, according to the company.
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