A Calgary startup is looking to advance technology adoption across outdated industries such as construction and manufacturing—where excel spreadsheets still dominate and finding new business is a mix of grinding out manual research and dead end cold calls, according to Mercator AI.
Developing new business with new customers may be hard, but the fledging Alberta firm believes it doesn’t have to be.
Cofounded by Chloe Smith and Hogan Lee, the real-time intelligence platform promises a faster way for construction companies to find and qualify new business opportunities.
“Growing up in a construction family, I’ve watched business development practices stagnate over the years despite massive technological advancements,” Smith, a former head of innovation and data strategist, said last year. “It’s exhausting. And it’s not like we don’t know there’s better data out there. There’s just not enough time in the day to chase it all down, so we end up leaving money on the table.”
Smith says Mercator changes this.
The startup’s AI tech mines and analyzes millions of data points across the construction process to identify indicators. Through partnerships with government entities, private data providers, and proprietary methods, they track activity on projects through to completion. This enables customers to access early project opportunities, see who is involved, and observe historical trends to inform productive conversations.
“Mercator makes it easy for you to access the knowledge you need, when you need it,” the company states online. “From surfacing intel on new projects, to helping you keep a close eye on your clients and an even closer eye on your prospective clients, Mercator cuts down on thousands of hours of research to bring you the right insights when it matters.”
Last year, the Canadian company raised $1 million in seed funding to launch its platform.
The round was led by StandUp Ventures, a firm dedicated to supporting teams that are changing the face of antiquated industries.
“Mercator is digitizing and bringing intelligence to historically analog and manual aspects of the construction industry which we believe represents a massive—and growing—opportunity,” stated Michelle McBane, Managing Director for StandUp Ventures, at the time of transaction.
According to McBane, the cofounders possess “a rare mix of grit, industry insight, and technical competence as a founding team and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them on Mercator’s journey.”
Financial firm The51 also joined the round.
“Mercator’s founding team is incredibly focused and driven and they have surrounded themselves with a strong group of investors with significant sector and tech expertise,” agreed Judy Fairburn, cofounder of The51. “The51 is proud to be among those investing in Mercator.”
Fairburn noted how she was “particularly impressed with Mercator’s priority to gather feedback from customers while iterating their technology product.”
The funding went toward developing in key markets across Canada, including Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
Recently the company expanded its platform’s reach from just construction to now also include real estate and manufacturing industries.
Mercator AI was founded in Calgary in 2022.
Leave a Reply