Procore is to expand its operations in the Middle East & North Africa under the newly appointed Head of MENA, Mohamed Swidan. The expansion is backed by Mubadala Investment Company, an Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor and existing Procore shareholder.
Swidan was appointed in January 2021 and is currently recruiting a team to help drive expansion in the Middle East. Currently, there are two roles advertised on the Procore jobs pages, an Account Executive and an Implementation Manager. Both roles are listed as remote working. Enterprise Times asked Procore whether they would open a physical office in the region and received a “no comment” response.
Enterprise Times also asked what the plans for the size of the team were in the region. Again no comment was received. The team appears to be at least three people at the moment, and with two more hires in the offing, it should reach at least five by the end of the year. It seems likely that further growth will depend on the teams’ initial success. However, the backing by Mubadala should help Procore in the region. Mubadala has a history of investing in real estate and infrastructure projects in the Middle East and across the world. Highlights include Al Durrah Tower, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square and Lamar.
Creating a winning team
Swidan has held sales leadership positions at Uber, SAP, LinkedIn, Vision Valley and Cisco previously. He created and led the first Uber for Business team in MEA. That experience will stand him in good stead for this role.
Swidan commented: “Construction businesses in MENA today are accelerating their digitisation and innovation. As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, owners and contractors are under continued pressure to drive innovation while controlling costs and improving productivity. Procore is thrilled to be on this journey with such a reputable and expert partner in the region. With Mubadala we have a unique opportunity to expand our one platform approach to a growing construction market, working closely with their team to respond to market needs.”
Procore targets MENA
Enterprise Times asked Procore what localisations exist on the Procore platform for the MENA region? Surprisingly a “No comment” was received to this question as well. Does that mean that Procore has not yet written any localisations around tax etc. and language? The response is even more surprising considering that Procore added a new English language version specifically for the United Arab Emirates to its web application in April. It also added support for French though Arabic does not seem to be supported yet.
The Procore platform provides the construction industry with a complete solution to help manage projects. Components include preconstruction, construction and financial management and analytics. Customers can extend the platform with a wide range of add-on applications available on the Procore App Marketplace. These include integrations to corporate financial management software.
Tooey Courtemanche, Procore founder and CEO, commented: “Procore builds software for the people who build the world. We are excited for our next phase of growth across the Middle East and North Africa in partnership with Mubadala.
“Procore is already used in over 125 countries, and expanding globally will enable us to better partner with construction leaders around the world. Our mission is to connect everyone in construction on our global platform, so that our customers can build faster, safer and smarter.”
Important for construction in MENA
As the world emerges from COVID, many industries will need to digitally transform to improve efficiency and remain competitive. As the leading Construction management platform, Procore can help construction firms to transform operations in MENA and elsewhere.
Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala, said: “The construction sector in the Middle East is ripe for disruption as it remains largely undigitized. Procore’s platform is a game-changer, and we are excited to support them on their mission to connect everyone in construction on a global platform, bringing significant efficiencies to the industry across the region.”
Enterprise Times also asked Procore why is digitisation a key component in getting projects back up and running post COVID-19 for the MENA region, specifically?
Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor (Head of Sales, EMA) answered, “Above all during the pandemic, construction answered the call. Whether it was building hospitals in a matter of days to building new vaccine plants, construction kept going and was a critical part of the response.
“Even before COVID-19, construction businesses had been looking to technology to help solve some of the challenges they have — some of which are felt particularly acutely in the Middle East like labour shortages, and the need to comply with specific regional building codes, but many of which, like project and supply chain visibility, are actually common worldwide.
“COVID-19 has accelerated some of these changes that were already in motion, and companies are seeing that by adopting technology they are not only able to save money, but reduce risk on their projects and accelerate project delivery. We’re so excited to be part of this journey with the industry in the Middle East.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
With the backing from its shareholder Mubadala Procore should find expansion in the Middle East far easier to accomplish. Many other software firms often struggle. It has the right leader in place. In addition, Mubadala should provide local contacts to get early customer advocates quickly.
It isn’t clear is how quickly Procore will grow its operation. Nor if it will set up an office in UAE. However, the timing seems optimal. The UAE construction industry set to rebound and grow by 3.1 in 2021, following a decline of 4.8% (Source: Research and Markets). It will be interesting to see how quickly Swidan grows the operation.