Reality is starting to sink in for Grit Virtual, said co-founder Chris Callen.
“It’s exciting to finally be able to talk about our funding rounds and the successes we have had,” Callen said. “It’s been an exciting ride so far, and we’re kind of gearing up to make it a real company, not just an R&D project.”
The Wichita-based next-generation construction management software company last week announced an oversubscribed seed round of $840,000. Callen, who also serves as chief executive officer, said the company is also set to release the beta version of its new virtual-reality software.
Techstars Kansas City was Grit’s first outside investor, followed by $600,000 from angel investors across the state. At least $400,000 of those funds came from construction executives, Callen added.
“That’s a big point … almost half the round is filled by people who live and breathe construction every day,” Callen said, noting the detail is a point of pride.
Network Kansas and the Allen Angel Capital Education program based in the University of Missouri also invested in the seed round, he added.
Grit is poised for an April 2 release of the beta version of a construction schedule generator, Callen said. The software is designed to employ “virtual reality planning environments, algorithmic prioritization of tasks and a real-time feedback loop providing a transparent view of what actually occurs on construction jobsites.”
Grit will begin installing the beta software on live construction projects for about four to six months, testing it and making any final tweaks before commercial rollout toward the fourth quarter of 2018, Callen said.
“Implementing the sales team and having real clients in the software is exciting and terrifying all at the same time,” Callen said. “We’re looking forward to it and looking forward to seeing what the market feedback and validation is.”
With a staff of 10, Grit also outgrew its current space at Groundwork, a startup coworking space in Wichita, Callen said. Beginning in March, Grit’s new office space will neighbor one of its clients, the Associated General Contractors of Kansas, in Wichita’s Old Town Square.
“Being close to our clients is just a benefit,” he said, adding that the move represents an opportunity to be “as close as we can to the association” and will present opportunities “to have some creative collisions while we’re inside of our offices.”
Grit completed Techstars Kansas City’s three-month, mentor-led accelerator program last year and was highlighted in the Startland News’ Techstars Spotlight.