Published April 29, 2022
State of Our Union
Featuring: Kathleen Egan, Paul Shahriari, and Abby Murray
By Jen Levisen
On April 19, ecomedes announced its acquisition of Mortarr with an ambitious goal — to reduce the costs, carbon, and impact of commercial buildings across the built environment. If they wanted easy, they wouldn’t be here.
I sat down with the newly formed leadership team to catch up on the platforms, hear the story of how the two came together, and see what’s on the roadmap for 2022 and beyond.
So, what’s ecomedes and Mortarr’s meet-cute? Was it love at first [web]site?
Paul: I had the pleasure of meeting Abby and Amy last October at NeoCon at a Mexican restaurant, Mercadito. We shared stories about the industry and I immediately felt their passion for design and their desire to make that process better from inspiration through to construction. We enjoyed a couple of margaritas and got off to a really great start.
Abby: Tacos, tequila, and technology. Only greatness can come from that trilogy.
Let’s back up a little for those who might not know about either platform. Kathleen, what is ecomedes?
Kathleen: ecomedes is a B2B vertical SaaS solution that simplifies sustainability-driven decision making. We want sustainable products to be the path of least resistance in the built environment. We organize impact-aware product data to drive commercial building product selection resulting in better buildings.
So, in layman’s terms, ecomedes is making it easy for building owners, project teams, etc. to be green by organizing and curating sustainability certifications and information on products they need to get their work done.
Abby: Ecomedes not only has all of this product information available to review but also tells you how healthy (or unhealthy) it is for the environment. Similar to a nutrition label on your chocolate chips, but for a sofa or a light … or 100 sofas and 1,000 lights.
"We want to make it as easy as possible for teams to access the product information they need as well as truly see the impact their work has on the environment."
- Kathleen Egan
Kathleen: We want to make it as easy as possible for teams to access the product information they need as well as truly see the impact their work has on the environment.
Abby, can you give us an overview of Mortarr?
Abby: Mortarr is a search and discovery engine custom-built for commercial construction and design professionals. The imagery-driven platform (and now also video!) brings building projects to life through actionable tags identifying products used within the space and the pros that contributed to the buildout. This connectivity to “live” project and product networks brings about great efficiency to the project planning process for all stakeholders.
News of ecomedes’ acquisition of Mortarr went public during Earth Week. What has been the response so far?
Kathleen: Overwhelming. The industry knows the power that digital can unlock and the power that data can unlock.
Abby: Everyone, from our current clients to our industry partners and our end-users, is absolutely thrilled to finally have a single solution for digital project planning – from inspiration to documentation. There is so much platform fatigue out there for end-users, for manufacturers, for A&D firms, for building owners. Hopping from resource to resource online, shuffling through PDFs, spreadsheets from hell. While we are still finalizing the integrations, our solution will bring much-needed relief to both buyers and sellers in our industry looking for a turn-key solution to find, and be found, more efficiently. To specify, and be specified, more sustainably.
"... our solution will bring much-needed relief to both buyers and sellers in our industry looking for a turn-key solution to find, and be found, more efficiently."
- Abby Murray
What does 1.0 of this merger look like for your site users?
Kathleen: Mortarr users will immediately have the benefit of product transparency. ecomedes users will have a new resource for design inspiration and ways to reach their target audience.
Abby: We will carefully research, evaluate, integrate, and introduce the functionality and synergies most useful to our community of users. This customer-led innovation has already begun with our initial release of ecoChecker on the Mortarr platform.
Paul: Ultimately, we’ll be leveraging each other's technologies to empower eco-inspiration to all of our users.
The impact of this work gives me goosebumps. It’s incredible. I’d love to hear from you all about a moment when you realized the impact ecomedes and Mortarr could have together.
Abby: Instantly. The moment we were introduced to them (forever thankful to you, Tim!), it was a clear path forward. I had already been exploring product catalog tools, launched some R&D with a focus group of manufacturer clients, and designs were mocked up. When we met Kathleen, I think both sides quickly saw how complementary we were to each other, streamlining the efficacy of our SaaS tools in order to propel our mission for more sustainable building practices.
Paul: Our first three introductory calls with new prospects all led to the prospect asking for a proposal to engage both platforms as part of their go-to-market strategy. It was impact in action.
Okay, I have to ask. What is the story behind 1+1=3?
Paul: The marketplace is going through rapid digitization. The interest in ESG/sustainable/green/healthy businesses has accelerated over the past 24 months. And most businesses are struggling to solve these two challenges. Our platforms deliver our clients industry-leading tools that accelerate their ability to respond and lead their market segments. That is where 1+1=3 comes from.
Abby: It’s amplified network effects. When you take two great things on their own and bring them together to create an ecosystem that not one nor the other could achieve as quickly or successfully on its own.
Kathleen: But it’s 1+1=5 now — Jen you have to keep up!
Got it, got it! Will do. Okay, what are you most excited about with this team and venture for the remainder of 2022? Or bigger picture — in the next three years?
Kathleen: Helping manufacturers significantly grow their businesses, helping them leverage the industry shift to digital and shift to sustainability. Helping building owners translate their sustainability and design dreams into reality.
Abby: So many things. Working together with an incredibly talented and tech-enabled “green” team to support the storytelling and delivery of our shared vision and product to an industry in need! Learning from end-users on how our platforms can integrate, evolve, and contribute to a more efficient “frictionless” process for them! Driving more sustainable buying decisions!
"We can give the industry the platform it’s been looking for."
- Paul Shahriari
Paul: We have the opportunity to support the industry from inspiration through project completion and even into operations. We can give the industry the platform it’s been looking for. There are so many decision cycles in the CRE industry, we are excited and ready to deliver the technology the market has been waiting for.
See? Goosebumps!! Okay, final question — although I don’t know how we could end on a higher note than that. It’s a fun one — surfing or skiing?
Kathleen: Haha both! Sometimes in the same day. Only in California!
Paul: I am a Florida kid, so surfing 100%. And when the water is frozen — snowboarding.
Abby: Skiing. Although with proper training (eh hem Kathleen!), learning to surf???
I see a team-building activity in our future!