- 🖊️ Startup Name: Tul
- 📍 Headquarters: Bogota, Colombia
- 📅 Year Founded: 2020
Tul was founded by Enrique Villamarin Lafaurie (CEO), Nicolas Villegas (CTO), and Juan Carlos Narváez. Lafaurie previously spent 10 years working in the construction industry for Cementos Argos, the Colombian company responsible for a huge chunk of cement sales in North and South America.
The construction materials industry in Colombia has long been plagued by inefficiencies and a lack of transparency. The process of procuring construction materials is often time-consuming and confusing, having to work with dozens of suppliers to find all the necessary materials. These issues lead to delays and cost overruns. Additionally, small and medium-sized construction materials companies struggle to compete with larger players due to their limited access to resources and information.
Tul saw an opportunity in the supply chain gaps that affect small construction materials stores located in regions far from large urban centers. These are stores that are not very digitized, with many of their inventory and invoicing operations still analog, and that, because of their small-scale operations and location, face problems acquiring inventory from traditional suppliers.
Tul aims to solve these problems by providing a B2B one-stop shop for construction materials. Through the Tul app, building material stores are able to make their inventory shopping on a single platform, eliminating the need to contact dozens of suppliers and to meet minimum order quantities, a very common practice in this industry.
🧑 Target Customer
Tul's target customers are small and medium-sized construction materials companies in Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. These companies often lack the resources and information necessary to compete with larger players in the industry. Tul aims to level the playing field by providing access to a wide range of high-quality products at competitive prices.
💳 Business Model
Tul generates revenue by taking a commission on each transaction made through the platform. The company also offers value-added services such as logistics and financing, which provide additional revenue streams.
Since its launch in 2020, Tul has experienced rapid growth. The platform has attracted over 5,000 customers and has processed more than 100,000 transactions. The company has also expanded its operations beyond Colombia, being active in Mexico and Brazil.
Tul's main competitors in Colombia include traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and other e-commerce platforms. However, Tul differentiates itself by offering a wider range of products and real-time pricing information. The company also provides value-added services such as logistics and financing, which its competitors do not offer.
Tul has raised USD $212M in funding to date, with investors including monashees, Kaszek Ventures, K50 Ventures, Bossanova Investimentos, Vine Ventures, and Endeavor Catalyst among others. The company plans to use the funds to fuel its expansion into new markets and to further develop its platform.
Tul sees significant opportunities for growth in the construction industry in Latin America. The region is experiencing rapid urbanization, which is driving demand for new construction projects. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of e-commerce and digital platforms, which could further accelerate Tul's growth.
Tul faces several challenges as it continues to grow. One of the biggest challenges is the highly fragmented nature of the construction industry in Latin America. This makes it difficult to standardize processes and to scale operations. Additionally, the company will need to continue to innovate and differentiate itself in order to stay ahead of its competitors.
📅 What's Next?
Tul plans to continue its expansion into new markets, with a particular focus on Brazil. The company also plans to further develop its platform, with a focus on enhancing its logistics and financing capabilities. Ultimately, Tul aims to become the go-to platform for construction materials in Latin America, revolutionizing the industry and driving growth across the region.