Is Building An Ecosystem The Way Forward For Construction Tech Startups In Latin America?


Digital transformation has yet to disrupt the construction sector, especially in developing regions like Latin America. However, a number of startups are aiming to be the first to achieve this feat. The infrastructure in Latin America lags behind the needs of the region’s populace, and much of the construction work is still reliant on outdated methods such as pen and paper, and even spreadsheets. Despite this, the construction sector has been resistant to adopting new technologies.

Key Takeaway

Nuqlea, an Argentine startup, is pioneering a B2B platform to address the challenges in the construction sector in Latin America, aiming to build an ecosystem of partners to expedite the procurement and construction process.

Challenges and Opportunities

Argentine startup Nuqlea is taking a unique approach to address these challenges. The company offers a B2B platform, Nuqlea Studio, which serves as a marketplace and a procurement portal for construction companies in Argentina. The goal is to build an ecosystem of partners to expedite procurement and, consequently, the entire construction process. According to the development bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF), approximately 120 million people in the region live in inadequate and informal housing, highlighting a significant opportunity for construction tech to make a difference. However, the construction sector remains highly fragmented, and productivity growth is stagnating.

Funding and Expansion

Nuqlea has adopted a capital-light model, which its CEO Gaston Remy believes will help the company navigate the current investment climate. Despite the decline in capital availability in Latin America, Nuqlea managed to secure funding, including a recent $750,000 extension led by construction-focused VC firm Foundamental. The company plans to use this funding to expand its footprint in Argentina and lay the groundwork for international expansion, starting with Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia.

Building an Ecosystem

Nuqlea aims to leverage its platform to unite various stakeholders in the construction sector, including builders, manufacturers, logistics firms, and financial entities. The company also plans to collaborate with financial firms to help stakeholders protect themselves from inflation. Nuqlea has onboarded approximately 50 construction companies and cooperatives, positioning itself as a B2B marketplace-plus that enables manufacturers and distributors to create their own channels while offering customers a one-stop procurement shop.

Social Impact and Sustainability

Besides its technological tools, Nuqlea is focused on its role as an ecosystem and connector in the construction sector. The company’s CEO, Gaston Remy, emphasizes the social impact of construction tech, particularly in building social housing and addressing Latin America’s infrastructure needs. Remy believes that digital transformation in construction can benefit society as a whole by reducing inefficiencies in the traditional value chain, ultimately benefiting consumers. Additionally, construction tech aligns with sustainability goals, promising both returns and impact.

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