Thanks to mobile apps such as Buildiro, Skrap and now TeekIt, London streets are increasingly busy with deliveries of equipment and materials to construction sites, large and small.
In late 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ExtranetEvolution wrote about Skrap, a northwest London-based startup that was aiming to transform waste skip and construction equipment hire services across the construction sector (September 2020 – Skrap: automating construction hire).
The business, originally founded in 2017, had just raised £1.2m in seed funding and aimed to enable SME builders to order any construction hire service at the click of a button on their mobile devices. It was being trialled with 100s of suppliers across London, Manchester and Birmingham, and had ambitions to automate entire construction hire supply chains across major cities globally over the coming years.
I spotted an exhibition stand for the business at a trade show, but otherwise hadn’t heard much about it since 2020 (though I did remember it after I had hired a waste skip for a domestic project I was doing earlier this summer). However, judging from its website, it is still going strong, focused on three main areas: waste management, bulky materials, and equipment hire, and now expanding into Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol. Homepage tickers say over 49,000 skips have been delivered, and over 200,000 tonnes of waste have been diverted from landfill.
In October 2022, I heard about another London-based player offering a construction material delivery service. Accessed its mobile apps, Teekit is connecting deliveries – from trusted and reliable stores that offer a variety of building and construction products – to tradespeople in as little as 30 minutes. Its website is about as basic as you could get, but it is arguably even more locally focused. TeekIt says it works “with local DIY shops as well as big-chain stores across London to provide … a huge range of products at competitive prices… from smaller items such as bolts and screws to larger equipment like boilers.”
It has a fleet of TeekIt drivers, known as the teek it Transporters, waiting to get the products to the customer, with smaller items guaranteed delivery within the hour, whilst delivery times for larger items may range between two hours and two working days.
And while another London-based e-commerce venture, Buildiro (January 2020 post – offering “cheap building materials and tools from over 100 merchants in the UK”), is also still going strong, you won’t be able to Snaffle it (May 2019 post) – Coulsdon, Surrey-based Snaffle appears to have snuffed it.