Announcement from Darion Miller & Dave Wigder, Founders of Ply
Today we’re excited to announce the launch of Ply, the modern way to buy HVAC/R materials. We’ve also raised $1.7M in pre-seed funding led by Cleo Capital, with supporting investors Secocha Ventures, Pidilite Ventures, Think + Ventures, Brandon Kreig (Stash Co-Founder), and Ed Robinson (Stash Co-Founder). Before we jump in, we want to take an opportunity to thank our fantastic team, who have worked incredibly hard to solve our beta users’ problems and our investors for their ongoing support and guidance.
70% of companies we work with spend 20+ hours per week buying materials
While mostly unseen, HVAC/R systems operate all around us regulating and controlling our climates, keeping food and beverages chilled, and improving air quality for our health. However, sourcing, buying, and managing materials are time-consuming for HVAC/R businesses, taking away from what they do best, the job at hand. We’ve found that 70% of companies we work with spend 20+ hours per week buying materials, most of which are people also responsible for job execution. In addition, businesses are also forced to make hasty purchasing decisions, leaving money on the table by forfeiting potential savings. Most companies we talk to see upwards of 15% pricing discrepancies for the same products. Additionally, materials can be difficult to source in an emergency, and turnaround times can delay a critical fix. These pain points lead to a slow-moving, non-transparent, and antiquated materials market.
Ply is here to modernize materials buying and sourcing for HVAC/R contractors. Our platform streamlines and augments materials sourcing, management, payments, and financing when you need it — saving time, providing transparency, and increasing material margins for HVAC/R businesses. Gone are the days of negotiating with multiple suppliers at once, sourcing difficulties, manual mix-and-max on quotes, and spending valuable tech time procuring materials for jobs. Ply is an extension of your operations team, providing a single place to manage, communicate, and transact material orders. Suppliers will benefit from faster payments, qualified new leads, and other tools to ease any existing buying friction.
Ply currently services the Tri-State region (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), with plans to expand into new markets in early 2023. We’ll also expand our product line with new features such as payments, and funds flow expansion, intelligent cash flow insights, logistics products and services, and inventory management tools for contractors and suppliers to improve transaction efficiency. In addition to product development, we’ll utilize our funding to build our early team to help us acquire our first set of customers and form new relevant partnerships.
Our founding team has spent much of their careers working directly with skilled trade businesses, bringing decades of experience in eCommerce, finance, and logistics. They grew up in families that built careers in general contracting, roofing, and mechanical industries, and while some progress has been made in those 30+ years, many of the pain points still exist today. We’re so excited to build a more efficient HVAC/R materials market alongside an industry of builders, learners, and innovators.