Embrace grabs a new funding round amid unveiling of new mobile data intelligence software

Many companies collect data from all of their users, but they don’t know what is good or bad data until it is collected and analyzed. Now in this increasingly mobile-first world, we use our phones for everything from apps to ordering to food to connecting with our cars.

Though these same companies have accelerated their digitalization to meet employees and customers where they are — up to 92% of all digital traffic worldwide is done through mobile devices — they lack visibility of this data and how it can be converted into retention and revenue.

That’s where Embrace comes in. Founded in 2016, the Culver City-based observability and data company launched its Data Intelligence product following the raise of $45 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Joining NEA in the Series B are existing investors Greycroft, AV8 and Eniac, and a group of founders from PagerDuty, SendBird, LogDNA, Scopely and Testflight. The infusion of capital gives the company $57 million, according to Crunchbase data.

Embrace's User Timeline page

Embrace’s User Timeline page. Image Credits: Embrace

Its new Data Intelligence product enables organizations to make all of their mobile data accessible and actionable by their business intelligence and data science teams so that other departments, like engineering, product and marketing, can use that data to make better decisions about areas like new products and marketing campaigns.

It joins previous products Observability and Resolution that can be used to proactively discover, prioritize and resolve regressions.

“This can be used across industries and for mobile apps like games and social media, but also for the next generation of digital-first industries as more mobile and IoT devices are being used as point-of-sale systems,” Eric Futoran, CEO of Embrace, told TechCrunch. “Mobile data can be disconnected from its user and very voluminous, and our product lets people like engineers look up a year and see what happened.”

Embrace has a SaaS pricing model with both free and pro/enterprise tiers. It now works with more than 100 organizations, including Hyatt, GOAT, Apprentice, Glo, TextNow, Dave and ChowNow. Not only has it grown its customer base, but it has also increased its employee count to 45, which is nearly 400% since its last funding round in 2019. Futoran intends to continue that streak, noting that it will be over 100 within the next 12 months as a result of the new funding.

To keep up with growth, of which annual recurring revenue increased three times over the past year, he also intends to deploy the new funds to round out the company’s leadership team, to grow on the go-to-market side for enterprise companies and continue product development.

Embrace aims to verticalize data for mobile devices, for which the stakes are high, as 75% of all media consumed by Gen Z is on a mobile device, Futoran said.

“When you think about experiences with phones, our expectations have never been higher,” he added. “We are pushing the lines of AI, mobile and observability to make sense of the data. That process has to be in real time and automated so that you can figure out what it is and fix it quickly, which is hard to do on mobile. It is a natural evolution for us, and we are going to provide data for those doing the AI and ML for decision making.”


Briq, the next building block in tech’s reconstruction of the construction business, raises $3 million

Bassem Hamdy has been in the construction business for a long time.

He spent the last few years at the construction software business Procore, now a $3 billion dollar company developing technology for the construction industry, and now Hamdy is ready to unveil his next act as chief executive and co-founder of Briq, a new software service for the industry.

Hamdy started Briq with his own cash, amassed through secondary sales as Procore climbed the ranks of startups to reach its status as a construction industry unicorn. And the company has just raised $3 million in financing to fund its expansion.

“With enough secondaries you can afford to make your own decisions,” Hamdy says. 

His experience in construction dates back to his earliest days. Hailing from a family of construction engineers Hamdy describes himself as a black sheep who went into the financial services industry — but construction kept pulling him back.,

Beginning in the late nineties with CMIC, which was construction enterprise resource planning, and continuing through to Procore, Hamdy has had success after success in the business, but Briq is the culmination of all of that experience, he says. 

“As much as data entry helps people it’s data intelligence software that changes things,” says Hamdy. 

Briq chief executive Bassem Hamdy

The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company is part of a growing number of Southern California technology startups building businesses to service large swaths of specific industries — specifically real estate and construction.

Already, Procore is a $3 billion behemoth, and ServiceTitan has become a billion dollar company as well, with its software and services for air conditioning and appliance repairmen.

Now Bassem’s Briq, with backing from Eniac Ventures and MetaProp NYC, is hoping to join their ranks.

“Bassem built and helped run the most successful construction software businesses in the world. It is rare and humbling to have an opportunity to help build a company from the ground up with an industry legend,” says Tim Young, Founding General Partner at Eniac Ventures . “The technology Bassem and his team are building will do something the industry has never seen before: break down data silos to leverage information in real time. Bassem has built and run the most successful construction software businesses in the world, and his knowledge of the construction space and the data space is second to none.”

The company, formerly called Brickschain, uses a combination of a blockchain based immutable ledger and machine learning tools to provide strategic insights into buildings and project developments.

Briq’s software can predict things like the success of individual projects, where demand for new projects is likely to occur and how to connect data around construction processes.

Briq has two main offerings, according to Hamdy. ProjectIQ, which monitors and manages individual projects and workflows — providing data around different vendors involved in a construction project; and MarketIQ, which provides market intelligence around where potential projects are likely to occur and which projects will be met with the most demand and success.

Joining Hamdy in the creation of Briq is Ron Goldschmidt, an experienced developer of quantitative-based trading strategies for several businesses. Hamdy, a former Wall Streeter himself has long realized the power of data in the construction business. And with the new tools at his disposal — including the blockchain based ledger system that forms the backbone of Briq’s project management software, Hamdy thinks he has developed the next big evolution in technology for the industry.

Briq already counts Webcore, a major contractor and developer, as one of its clients along with Kobayashi, Probuild, Hunter Roberts OEG, and Gartner Builders. In all, the company has contracts with nearly twelve different developers and contractors.

All of the insights that Briq can provide through its immutable ledger can add up to big savings for developers. Hamdy estimates that there’s roughly $1 trillion in waste in the construction industry.

Briq relies on IBM’s Hyperledger for its blockchain backbone and through that, the company has a window into all of the decisions made on a project. That ledger forms the scaffolding on which Briq can build out its projections and models of how much a building will cost, and how could conceivably made on a project.

“Construction and infrastructure are integral to society, but the decision-making process behind how, when, where, and why we build is no longer working,” said Briq Co-Founder & CEO Bassem Hamdy, in a statement. “We aren’t just solving a construction problem, we are solving a societal problem. If we are to meet the infrastructure needs of both the developed and developing world, we must improve our decision-making and analysis around the data we have. We are thrilled to have the support of Eniac Ventures as we enter the next phase of our journey.”