Mosaic Building Group, a Phoenix-based construction technology platform, announced on Monday that it raised $44 million in series B financing with plans to expand its services from northern Arizona into Phoenix and Tucson.
Mosaic broadly describes itself as a digital general contractor, and the company’s co-founder and CEO Salman Ahmad said Mosaic provides “construction as a service” that handles the infrastructure behind the scenes so its customers can focus on their core business of land acquisition, architecture and sales.
Ahmad likened the business model to that of Amazon Web Services; AWS provides the data center services to smaller companies, allowing them to focus on building a better product. Mosaic aims to do the same by taking the construction infrastructure work off developers’ plates.
Mosaic is based in Phoenix, but thus far all its construction work has happened in the northern parts of Arizona, most recently in a partnership with Mandalay Homes to build 400 houses near Prescott.
Mosaic employs about 70 people, not including the additional tradespeople and construction crews it hires during building projects. The company plans to hire another 30 to 70 people by the end of 2022 and it will move into Phoenix and Tucson next as part of a larger market expansion.
The series B funding came from Peak State Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Starwood Capital, Founders Fund, Innovation Endeavors, and Building Ventures. InvisionAZ, a fund organized specifically to spur Arizona’s innovation ecosystem, also participated in the round.
Last year Mosaic raised $14.25 million in a series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. All told, the company has now raised a combined $68.75 million in outside funding.
Mosaic defies simple categorization. It may be a general contractor of sorts, but most contractors never raise venture capital and the company’s CEO Ahmad has a Ph.D. in computer science from MIT.
“My passions academically and professionally have always been in software engineering and computer science. However, I grew up in a construction household,” he told the Business Journal. “This led to a huge passion of mine, of being interested at the intersection of not construction, necessarily, but real world physical processes and software.”
That passion carried Ahmad from undergraduate studies at Arizona State University to graduate studies at Stanford University, where he met Sep Kamvar.
Kamvar was a Ph.D. student at Stanford when he met Ahmad and they both received offers to head to MIT for their next stops; Ahmad as a Ph.D. student and Kamvar as a member of MIT’s faculty.
Ahmad said that once he graduated from MIT it was time to put their ideas into action and thus Mosaic was born. He said that by helping construction companies improve their work, Mosaic will achieve its goal of building places that people love.
“The immovable object that we need to reckon with at some point is, is making construction more dynamic,” he said. “I think if we’re able to make construction far more dynamic, we’re able to enable a great diversity of places as well.”
Building a more dynamic construction industry is easier said than done, but Ahmad said Mosaic’s technology platform can be a key differentiator for builders looking to boost their competitiveness.
“What you’re seeing is a vertical integration of not operations supply chain, but the operations and technology, the technology is almost becoming the new currency of competitiveness,” he said. “We’re incredibly bullish on the approach that we’re taking, because we’ve seen this play out in all the other industries; construction lags behind a lot of the other industries.”
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