“Were working on developing a nationally recognized brand.”
Chattanooga company bringing e-commerce to the brick and heavy building materials industry has secured $1.3 million in new funding that will help it grow.
Brickhunter will use the seed capital to develop its online platform that provides manufacturers and distributors of brick and other construction materials a marketplace to sell their products, said Carson Combs, Brickhunter's managing director.
The platform will help those businesses reach the entire country instead of limiting their shipping or distribution area, according to Brickhunter.
"We're digitizing the brick and mortar industry," Combs said. "We're first to the market for what we do."
The investment was made by KMA LLC in Jackson, Miss., and an angel investor from the software industry, he said. Butler Snow Advisory of Ridgeland, Mississippi, acted as a conduit for the funding, Combs said.
Kelli Cook of KMA said the construction industry in the United States spends more than $1 trillion annually.
She said the firm "is pleased to be part of the company as it scales to serve this sector."
Brickhunter was started three years ago by Combs, 39, who moved to Chattanooga in the late 1990s to attend Southern Adventist University. He later finished his degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, entered the building materials industry, and then he decided to start his own company.
Combs said the business, which currently has four employees located off Riverfront Parkway, is expected to ramp up both its workforce and revenues. He foresees having between six and 12 employees within the next year.
In terms of revenues, he is targeting between $20 million and $25 million by year five, Combs said.
Plans are to launch a new marketplace platform by the end of this year, the businessman said. A new operating system will permit manufacturers and distributors, in a more cost effective way, to utilize a cloud-based platform to run their organizations in a real-time manner, according to the company.
With its software as a service (SAAS) platform, whether one is a consumer or selling, customers can get a product up on the internet or buy that item in an automated way, Combs said.
In addition, he said, the company is building its team and looking for talent.
"Chattanooga has a burgeoning tech scene," Combs said, citing the ultra-fast internet speeds which make the city attractive. "We're working on developing a nationally recognized brand."
He said one way to look at Brickhunter is as a mix of The Home Depot and Amazon, but for bricks and heavy building materials.
"We created the digital platform to meet both consumers and sellers that are already buying other materials online," Combs said. "It just makes sense."
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.