Heavy equipment marketplace Dozr closes $2.5 million round from FairVentures
Dozr Inc., has announced it has closed a $2.5 million (CAD) equity financing round with FairVentures Inc., the innovation initiative of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
Becoming Canada’s largest online heavy equipment marketplace, they are revolutionizing the construction industry by giving equipment owners a way to earn money from their unused equipment, and matches them with users who save money compared to typical rentals.
As part of the deal, Toronto-based Fairfax subsidiary Federated Insurance Company of Canada has developed an insurance coverage plan built into Dozr so equipment owners will be protected when people rent their machinery. Dozr is now the first company in the heavy equipment market to provide insurance as part of the platform.
Other companies in the space require contractors to provide their own insurance, and often those policies don’t cover another party renting the equipment, which leaves owners at risk.
“Now we can give equipment owners comfort that they are protected if something goes wrong while someone is using their equipment,” said Kevin Forestell, Dozr director and co-founder.
“Until now, they just had to keep their fingers crossed because no one else offered insurance, and it was nearly impossible to get through a broker.”
In the construction industry, the cost of owning and operating equipment is a big factor in profitability. As the owner of a commercial landscaping company, Forestell hated seeing his expensive equipment sit idle when it wasn’t being used on a job. He knew it was costing him money, and it was a problem every contractor could relate to.
While on a vacation, staying in someone else’s home that they’d rented, Forestell and his wife and co-founder, Erin Stephenson, were walking along the beach and came up with the idea to apply the sharing economy to the heavy equipment world.
Stephenson now handles marketing for the company. Forestell’s brother, Tim, is also a co-founder and serves as Dozr’s CCO.
Not only does Dozr create revenue for equipment owners, rates on the contractor-to-contractor platform tend to be about 40 percent less than retail rental rates and the variety of equipment is greater. Dozr offers both construction and agricultural equipment and is free to join.
Since launching in June 2015, Dozr has amassed more than 2,200 customers across Canada, representing over $200 million worth of equipment. With the investment from FairVentures, Forestell plans to expand operations into the United States.
“We are very pleased for FairVentures to partner with Kevin and the entire entrepreneurial Dozr team to deliver their innovative new service in Canada and globally,” said Paul Rivett, President of Fairfax.
“Dozr is a great new Canadian innovator that is transforming the heavy machinery industry, with an outstanding equipment sharing platform developed by Kevin’s team.”
Dozr is based in the Communitech startup accelerator in Kitchener, Ontario. Dozr recently took home the top prize at the demo day for Communitech Rev, the accelerator’s program for product-ready startups focused on sales and marketing.
Read the September 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.