Digitizing India’s Construction Sector: Our Investment in PowerPlay
The Indian economy has been battered by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but among the few sectors that can potentially revive the economy is the construction and infrastructure sector. It can provide jobs, create demand, and positively impact several industries.
In this context, we are pleased to invest in and support Powerplay, a young, early-stage startup that is helping digitise India’s construction sector.
Powerplay is building a mobile app ecosystem that enables smooth communication and collaboration between construction sites and corporate offices. The app allows construction site workers to share information with their offices about the project plan, budgets, timelines, issues they’re facing, project reports, etc. so there’s transparency and ease of operations on the projects.
Today, there’s almost no automation or use of technology in the real estate, infrastructure, and construction sector. Most engineers, site workers, and office staff communicate through informal channels and keep track of project progress using rudimentary tools. With the use of technology and apps, however, companies can easily track progress on a daily/weekly basis, track exact usage of material, manage supply of resources and labour, etc. Powerplay helps with this.
Our team at Accel first met with Iesh Dixit, founder and CEO of Powerplay, in January 2020. At that time, Powerplay was a pure B2B SaaS solution targeting the top management in construction companies.
They were doing well, having signed on 6-7 paying customers in the first six months of operation. In fact, the first customer came on board willing to pay Rs15,000 a month, based simply on a pitch Iesh made to him using just his basic Figma designs. Scaling, however, was a challenge, and we had told them that they’d have to find a way to scale fast and grow the business.
Soon after, Iesh and team pivoted their business with the launch of a freemium model. The new model allowed construction workers to download the app for free. And within just eight weeks of launch, Powerplay had attracted 1.5 lakh users.
The team’s ability to pivot from focusing on a top-down model to investing in users by focusing on the bottom-up approach has given us the confidence that Powerplay is set for success. By designing for the construction workers, the company has the opportunity to capture between 10 million and 20 million users in the next two years.
Empowering these workers with technology will also enable fast-tracking the infrastructure sector in India and avoid project delays caused due to poor visibility, and lack of information flow needed for project managers to complete tasks effectively.
This is only the beginning of the automation and technology adoption in the construction sector, and we are excited to partner with a startup whose journey is also beginning. The sector is on the cusp of transformation, and we are very excited about Powerplay and what they are going to do!