Bay Area Road Trip: Talking Venture With Lightspeed


Yesterday, members of the BuiltWorlds team arrived in the Bay Area — one of the epicenters of technological innovation here in the US — to explore how built world tech has reached a matured stage of investment where many companies in the space are far beyond their initial Series A rounds. With bigger and bigger players entering the arena by the day, the built world’s maturation concreted its relevance as an industry ripe for innovation and exciting new talent.

As part of this BuiltWorlds Road Trip, the team spoke with Lightspeed Venture Partners today to learn more about their investments in built world tech. The firm has a bevy of impressive portfolio companies, including Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, and Nest, the smart thermostat manufacturer that was acquired by Google. Nakul Mandan, one of Lightspeed’s partners, has championed built world tech advancements in his portfolio.

When investing, Mandan must answer a key question: “why now?” “Even the oldest of old industries have to go through a mindset shift in terms of how technology can enable them to be competitive in today’s market,” Mandan explains. “The ‘why now’ is simply that most industries are catching up and construction is actually behind a little bit. It’s one of the largest industries and when we think of vertical markets, it’s still underpenetrated from a tech point of view.”


One of Mandan’s portfolio companies is BuildingConnected, a software start-up often referred to as the “Salesforce and LinkedIn of commercial construction.” With tens of millions in venture capital, BuildingConnected has propelled themselves forward to being utilized in over 45,000 projects in the US and Canada. Mandan especially likes that BuildingConnected can facilitate a more intuitive, intelligent awarding process to get jobs into better hands.

“Construction projects are awarded to subcontractors still based on legacy relationships rather than the actual discovery of the best capabilities, the best prior portfolio, and the best pricing,” Mandan said. “BuildingConnected is taking a network-driven approach to increased transparency and discoverability in this ecosystem… it becomes a LinkedIn for this market.”

The maturation of venture capital investments in built world tech is the hot topic tonight at the Venture Forum Meet-Up happening in San Francisco this evening as part of the Road Trip. Don’t miss the opportunity to network with a select group of leading investors and start-ups in the BuiltWorlds community who are exploring the industry’s investment trends.