Much of the work being performed in the technology ecosystem today entails bringing something that has traditionally been dealt with offline into the online realm. While this is generally a reasonable task, for some sectors, the complete transition is impossible. Such is the case of the construction-focused Bidcorp.
Bidcorp is a marketplace for the management, buying and selling of surplus construction assets. Geared towards contractors, businesses and individual consumers, the Brazil-based startup offers various solutions to make transactions possible, including marketing, client interaction, payment management and logistics.
Ricardo Salazar and Arthur Rozenblit came up with the idea for Bidcorp after working in the construction industry for several years. The two recognized the high number of valuable assets in the sector that become idle, end up as surplus and are simply thrown away at the end of a project because no one has the time or energy to manage them. Thus, they sought out to create a solution to help construction entities recover their asset investments and connect them with potential buyers.
Last May, the two quit their jobs and moved to Rio de Janeiro to start the company. In Rio, they teamed up with Isabel Wanderley, the IT expert of their operations.
Bidcorp launched just a few weeks ago and is already receiving a positive response. There are currently US$25 million in assets listed on the platform, and the Bidcorp team is negotiating the sale of those assets with clients from all over Brazil.
We got a chance to talk to Salazar, Co-Founder and CEO of Bidcorp, to learn more about the company.
Emily Stewart: The construction industry is historically one that has existed entirely offline. How have you worked to shift the sector towards the online world? What challenges have you faced?
Ricardo Salazar: It is still very offline. Buyers, for example, still need to check the asset before buying it, and it’s very understandable, because they have to be sure that asset is in good shape and in condition for the job. We believe that out platform can help buyers and sellers to meet one other and, in turn, render the trade operation easier and faster.
ES: Sustainability is an important element in your work. Where does it fall on the list of your priorities? How does it fit into your marketing strategy, if at all?
RS: The construction business is one of the most pollutant industries in the world. We’re talking about tons and tons of equipment and materials that, if they are not well managed, will surely became waste by the end of each construction cycle. So, more than an investment recovery solution, Bidcorp is also a sustainability solution, because it enables the reuse of equipment and identifies new buyers for surplus materials.
ES: You recently traveled to Silicon Valley for the Latin American Invasion and TechCrunch Disrupt. What was your experience there? How did the environment in the U.S. differ from what you’re accustomed to in Brazil?
RS: The experience was amazing. It was great to finally be able to demystify our ideas about American entrepreneurs and companies. We often perceive Brazilian companies as being at the same level as Americans, but what really makes the difference there is the strength of the network and the more developed venture capital mindset, which facilitates much more funding. And, of course, the media is more involved and can spread the word not only to the U.S but to the entire world.
BidCorp is already doing business in 10 Brazilian states and will continue to work on expanding its national reach from here on out. As the startup is still quite new, it is likely that quite a few new changes will be made to the platform over the next several months. The company has quite a challenge ahead in successfully building an online business that will inevitably be dependent on an offline sector.