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Bayou Startup Gets Brick & Mortar Boost

Bayou Startup Gets Brick & Mortar Boost

Bigger, easier: Founder Scott Wolfe (center, gray pullover) leads one happy, growing staff in the Crescent City.  

Bigger, easier: Founder Scott Wolfe (center, gray pullover) leads one happy, growing staff in the Crescent City.  

by MICHAEL ARMSTRONG | March 30, 2016

For New Orleans-based startup zlien, the momentum is building.

The cloud-based lien rights management company is definitely on a roll now that it has raised $1.3 million in a new funding round led by Brick & Mortar Ventures, a San Francisco-based VC firm founded by Darren Bechtel. Focused on the construction technology space, it has also made other significant investments in AEC startups such as PlanGrid, BuildingConnected, and Rhumbix.

“It’s about time for a tech solution to the lien waiver problem,” says Bechtel. “The construction technology industry has been exploding recently with the emergence of job site apps and project management platforms, and now lien waivers finally have their solution.”

The construction technology industry has been exploding recently... now lien waivers finally have their solution
— Darren Bechtel, Brick & Mortar Ventures
  • Brick & Mortar VP Curtis Rodgers will speak next month at CTF 2016. Learn more here.

The new funding can trace its roots back to March 2014, when zlien won the the Sixth Annual Coulter IDEAPitch competition in New Orleans. As the top startup to pitch at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week’s culminating event that year, zlien founder and CEO Scott Wolfe Jr. earned the opportunity to meet one-on-one with leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Two years later, those meetings appear to have paid off. 

“I founded zlien with the vision of empowering fast, easy, and fair payment for all stakeholders in the construction industry," says Wolfe, a construction lawyer who started zlien in 2008. To date, some 10,000 users have signed on to its lien waiver exchange tool. The platform secures payment by sending, filing, and tracking all of a project's mechanics lien-related documents. It is "the first public and completely free lien waiver product," the firm's website claims.

Last year, zlien processed more than 250,000 claims, securing payments in excess of $4 billion.

  • Below, the video that helped zlien to win national recognition in 2014.
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