Gravel Secures Funding From NEA To Revolutionize Indonesia’s Construction Industry


Jakarta-based startup, Gravel, has raised $14 million in funding to address the challenges faced by Indonesia’s booming construction industry. With the support of investors such as New Enterprise Associate (NEA), Marvell Technology Group co-founder Weili Tai, and Cadence Design System executive chairman Lip-Bu Tan, Gravel aims to transform the way workers and construction professionals are sourced and hired in Southeast Asia.

Key Takeaway

Indonesia’s construction industry is witnessing significant growth, but the sourcing of skilled labor remains a challenge. Gravel, a Jakarta-based startup, has secured

4 million in funding, including investment from NEA, to address these challenges and streamline the hiring process for construction professionals. Through its platform, Gravel aims to simplify the process of finding and hiring workers, offering benefits such as quick payments, continuous job opportunities, and access to training and development. The company’s success in Indonesia sets the stage for future international expansion as it looks to transform construction industries worldwide.

The Growing Construction Industry in Indonesia

Indonesia’s construction industry is experiencing rapid growth, driven by an increase in residential and industrial building projects, as well as government-led infrastructure development plans. However, sourcing skilled labor remains a time-consuming process that often relies on personal networks and lengthy recruitment efforts.

Introducing Gravel: Simplifying the Hiring Process

Gravel was founded in 2019 with the goal of making it easier to find workers and other construction professionals. Initially created as an app to connect users with construction workers, Gravel now offers four main features:

  1. Gravel Construction: For hiring daily construction workers.
  2. Gravel Borongan: For construction with lump sum contracts.
  3. Gravel Maintenance: For on-demand home repairs.
  4. Gravel Material: For ordering tools and materials.

Since its launch, Gravel has experienced exponential revenue growth, with a 45x increase between 2020 and 2022. The platform currently boasts 1.7 million workers and has been utilized for over 6,000 projects in 20 Indonesian provinces, ranging from residential construction to larger endeavors like the LRT Jabadebek (Greater Jakarta Light Rail Transit), Jakarta International Stadium, Pelni Hospital, and the Keong Man IMAX Theatre.

The Vision and Founders Behind Gravel

Gravel’s co-founders include chairman Nicholas Sutardja, co-CEO Georgi Ferdwindra Petra, and co-CEO Fredy Yanto. Petra, who graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, witnessed the challenges associated with finding labor during his time working in the construction industry. This motivated him and Yanto to launch Gravel, using their own funds in 2017 before securing funding and establishing the platform in 2019.

The Benefits of Gravel’s Platform

Gravel offers significant advantages for both workers and service providers. For workers, the platform provides access to continuous job opportunities, workshops, certificate training, and a loyalty and bonus program. Additionally, Gravel ensures quick payment, with workers receiving their wages within 24 hours of project completion, enhancing their financial resilience and performance on the job. Service providers, on the other hand, benefit from increased visibility to clients, access to a wider scope of projects and work packages, efficient matching to potential clients, and connections to partners and services in their supply and demand chains.

Streamlining Project Management and Decision Making

Gravel goes beyond simply connecting workers and service providers. The platform also offers real-time analysis of project activities, providing insights into a project’s current stage of construction, labor requirements, and necessary materials and equipment. This helps clients with budget calculations and decision making. Gravel has plans to develop a predictive model for monitoring construction progress, further enhancing project management capabilities.

NEA’s Excitement for Gravel’s Potential

NEA, one of Gravel’s key investors, has expressed excitement about the company’s potential to elevate Indonesia’s construction industry through technology. This funding round marks NEA’s first investment in Southeast Asia, emphasizing the significance of Gravel’s innovative approach in revolutionizing the region’s construction sector.

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