By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Denver-based Homesphere has pursued an unrelenting expansion campaign over the last year. In October 2001, it bought BuildSoft and promptly doubled staff. A month later, it released an upgrade that made the program compliant with the latest versions of Windows.
In January, Homesphere bought Builderworks, a management system for large builders, then renamed it BuildSoft Enterprise. It competes with MH2's Fast Builder Management System. That same month, it agreed to sell a re-branded version of BuildTopia, called The Jobsite Pro.
In May, Homesphere bought a minority share of Chandler, Ariz., Sales Simplicity Software, which owns a sales automation and option selections tool by the same name.
The company is completely re-writing BuildSoft. The new version, which it will release in October as "BuildSoft Pro," will let users import back-office data directly into tools such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and Crystal Reports. Current users will receive it at no charge as part of their annual support and maintenance agreement. Homesphere also owns Builder Resources, which manages product rebates for home builders. Later this year, it will automate that process.
To finance its expansion, the company raised $2 million in venture capital from the Boulder, Colo., company, Sequel Partners in June. Is Homesphere overextending itself like BuildNet? Former BuildNet staffers say "no." BuildNet spent tens of millions of dollars mapping builder systems to lumber systems. The goal was to act as an intermediary and to charge a toll on transactions. Homesphere claims that its business model--which doesn't include procurement--is more sustainable.