Urban Umbrella, a scaffolding design alternative, has raised $9 million in Series B funding from a group of investors that includes real estate developers and building owners.
Consisting of $7 million of equity and $2 million of debt, the capital brings the total raised by Urban Umbrella to $18 million. The infusion will enable increased fabrication of its flagship product, expansion of its product line into new market categories and making key hires, in order to accelerate the company’s expansion in New York City.
Urban Umbrella’s flagship product is a cross-bracing-free sidewalk shed composed of high-strength steel, translucent plastic panels, LED lighting and white arching struts. Urban Umbrella’s clear polymer resin roofs allow 90-percent light transmission, giving the structures an airy feeling, but are tested for small missile impact, ensuring safety for both pedestrians and contractors.
“We’re excited to close this round of funding, which was oversubscribed,” said Benjamin Krall, Urban Umbrella’s Founder and CEO. “Disrupting an industry this traditional has not been easy. It took us four years to perfect the product and educate property owners of its value, but we are proud of what we’ve achieved on this front. To date, our problem hasn’t been demand, despite our price which is three times higher than the industry average. Each of our installations is an advertisement for the product and we get inbound inquiries all day without doing marketing. Instead, our problem has been capacity, the ability to manufacture enough product to meet demand. This capital will allow us to scale up aggressively, sustainably, and efficiently. We are doubling down on New York City.”
In fact, the sidewalk shed alternative can be made into a marketing opportunity and is often customized with LED lighting, color overlays, and signage to display building, store, and restaurant names and branding.
Clients include Savanna Fund, Sciame Construction, Gilbane Building Company, The Feil Organization, GFP Real Estate, Lendlease Group, George Comfort & Sons and Hines. As of early October, Urban Umbrella scaffolding and sidewalk sheds were installed on 87 buildings, with another 25 in the pipeline. The company expects to achieve profitability this year.