Tul is a startup dedicated to optimizing the construction materials supply chain. It focuses specifically on digitizing hardware stores.
Yesterday, the company announced it closed a US$181 million Series B investment round, which adds up to the total US$210 million in funds it has received since February 2020.
8VC, a venture capital fund based in Austin, Texas, spearheaded this new round; and the New York-based fund Avenir Growth Capital expanded on it. It also has other investors such as monashees, Lightrock, Coatue, Tiger Global, Softbank, Foundational, Vine, Marathon Labs and H20. The last three are funds that have been around since the launch of their seed round.
What Tul, originally from Colombia, plans to use this new injection of capital for is to boost its expansion in Brazil and strengthen its operations in Ecuador. They will allocate US$15 million towards this.
The Digital Opportunity for Regional Hardware Stores
Tul currently operates 16 logistics centers from which they distribute material to regional hardware stores. They employ more than 1,000 people directly and around 2,000 indirectly.
In the region, they are serving important suppliers in the construction sector; such as Cemex and Ternium. In Mexico, they provide service to more than 10,000 hardware stores. In terms of investment, they have deployed US$20 million for Mexico City and Guadalajara in this country.
On the other hand, in Colombia and Ecuador they have invested US$15 million in total. It is expected that with the new investment they will soon serve more than 50,000 hardware stores per month.
For hardware stores in the region, Tul’s presence is key. These stores account for 50% of the sales in the construction sector, but they are generally family businesses that work in a more traditional and slow way. Tul is thus helping them in their sales processes and enabling them to make deliveries in less than 24 hours.
Among the products and services that Tul offers is the possibility of renting construction tools, construction materials, paints and finishes, plumbing and electricity items, and even insurance and credit for end customers.
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