Faster construction payroll

🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week:


✍️ Notes from the Editors

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Our foray into the “unsexy” industries of the world continues.

Derek Wong is back this week analyzing a pain point that probably hadn’t crossed your mind: construction payroll.

Per Trayd, hundreds of thousands of construction workers have left construction for the gig economy in favor of same-day payment. Its proposed solution? Building a platform for quicker pay in construction.

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Faster construction payroll

Trayd provides a payroll platform for commercial real estate contractors to provide same-day pay for their workers. Using next-generation time-tracking tools to power its payroll automation, Trayd is building a platform where contractors can reliably receive weekly direct deposits or same-day pay. Where traditional payroll platforms may take weeks or months to pay employees, Trayd can pay within a few days.

🔗 Check it out:

💰 Business Model

The company sells with a B2B SaaS model, charging per employee per month. 

📈 Traction and Fundraising

  • Raised $1.75 million from Sunstone Management, UpHonest Capital, 468 Capital, Pioneer Fund, and Y Combinator

  • Has achieved a 90% adoption rate for users and 100% user growth MoM

👫 Founders

  • Anna Berger, CEO: Previously a founding team member @ Motto and a co-founder @ Curtn, driving product development and growth

  • Cara Kessler, CTO: Previously a Senior Staff Engineer @ LinkedIn, led a team of 250 engineers

📖 Founder Story

The hardest problems to solve have deep roots — but it’s a good thing the Trayd founders have an even deeper relationship.

Trayd is a perfect blend between CEO Anna Berger’s experience and CTO Cara Kessler’s expertise.

Berger has a deep background in startups and construction, having previously co-founded 2 startups, and having grown up in construction, where her father is an architect. The idea for Trayd came about over lunch with her father, where they mulled over a conversation in which a sub-contractor had come up and asked if he could be paid for the work he had already done, instead of waiting weeks for the payout.

Kessler comes from a technical background. She spent seven years at LinkedIn, eventually leading a huge team of engineers, and had the itch to try something new. Having been life-long friends with Berger, attending and eventually working at the same summer camp together when they were kids, it seemed like fate when Berger asked her to take a trip to Italy together.

It was on that fateful trip when Berger recruited Kessler to become co-workers once again.

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🔮 Our Analysis

There’s a huge labor shortage everywhere in construction. But the important question is, where is all this labor going? 

According to Trayd, there are 600,000 construction workers who are leaving for the gig economy, joining companies such as Uber or DoorDash. And for every seven people in the industry that retire, one person enters into an apprenticeship.

Why are so many construction workers leaving behind higher-paying jobs and years of experience to work in the gig economy? One theory is the lack of same-day pay in construction. While gig work can be lower paying, it can offer same-day pay, where workers can be compensated on a daily basis for the work they do, instead of having to wait weeks or months for a payment to come in the construction industry.

Late payments cost the construction industry $208 billion every year. According to Trayd CEO, Anna Berger, only 17% of construction companies have implemented payment automation, while only 9% plan to implement it. And the payment automation platforms currently available to the construction industry are outdated, often leaving workers in limbo while they wait for a payment to clear. Without a solution to these payment problems, construction workers will continue to leave the industry without any replacement.

This is where Trayd steps in.

By using its proprietary platform to make it simple and easy for workers to track their work, contractors and other workers can get paid the same day. By streamlining time-tracking and payroll into a single software, Trayd can save tens of hours a week of manual, back-office work. 

Beginning with Berger’s hometown, New York, Trayd is looking to start with a close circle of early users before expanding to other cities and construction companies. Within the next year, Trayd is looking to close at least $1 million ARR and grow its user base to 150,000 users. 

While the construction industry only continues to grow, Trayd hopes to be a new payments platform that powers the backbone of an everlasting industry.

📚 Further Reading

Written by Derek Wong

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