ADVERTORIAL: How the Tinder-for-Tenders can help construction companies tap into a booming sector

Construction underpins our economy and society. Few sectors have such an impact on communities across the UK so as construction firms continue to hire staff at a very strong pace, confidence regarding the future outlook for the sector is growing.

During the pandemic construction almost ground to a halt with only essential work taking place. But orders are rising and tech start-up OPPORTUNI has the technology to help construction firms across the UK win lucrative bids.

OPPORTUNI, one of the most exciting start-up companies to emerge in recent years, made £400m for its customers in 2021 using genuine machine learning and intelligent AI to match SMEs with contracts they can win.

Recently the Stockton-based company, which is going from strength to strength and is on track to become the first billion-dollar business in the Tees Valley, bought the website – the largest free tender portal in the UK.

OPPORTUNI co-founder and CEO, Tim Ward
OPPORTUNI co-founder and CEO, Tim Ward

CEO Tim Ward explained: “Construction and manufacturing is booming after the UK construction sector was heavily affected by the pandemic. This was due to the Government’s decision to prohibit all construction work deemed “non-essential’’ in many areas.

“As we have emerged out of lockdown, there is now considerable investment in the construction sector. A lot of essential work is now underway and there is certainly an increase in spending from the Government. It is one of the biggest public sector areas for procurement.

“The likes of HS2, building new roads, housing association builds and facilities management are all public sector contracts. House building is also flourishing and there’s a lot of work around redmodelling offices post-pandemic.

“Commercial building work has grown at the fastest rate since 1998 and housebuilding at a pace not seen since 2003. Builders have noted ‘a rapid turnaround in demand.

“In addition there are contracts for security on construction sites as well as cleaning offices, and everything from workwear to cabins. These are all interconnected sectors to benefit from the construction boom.’’

OPPRTUNI’s rapid growth has seen the company its first offices in the US last month and was recently the headline sponsor of the biggest Tender Conference in the US in Denver.

Co-founded by Tim Ward and Bill MacGregor and launched in March 2020, the tech start-up has experienced substantial growth.

Tim added: “Acquiring made perfect sense for us. Our mission is to make contracts accessible and it’s all about transparency.’’

What services do OPPORTUNI provide?

OPPRTUNI’s portal simplifies the public sector tendering process for businesses using smart matching algorithms that help firms identify the right contracts on which to bid. It aims to redirect the £225bn worth of Government spend to small and medium-sized companies which in turn will help companies grow and help local communities.

The award-winning company’s technology replaces ‘searching’ with machine learning so firms in any sector and of any size can match their business capabilities with government contracts. OPPORTUNI studies the persona of the company such as product, service, location and company turnover. In the first six months of 2021, the company helped firms win £400m worth of business.

Currently, less than 1.5% of UK businesses even have sight of Government contracts with even less moving forward to bid on them. The UK Government is committed to spending at least £1 in every £3 with SMEs, and so OPPORTUNI identified this opportunity and felt it was about time more people got in on the act.

Tim explained: “We give small and medium-sized businesses a genuine ability to match with government tenders and provide them with all the tools they need to compete and bid alongside much larger firms and win public sector work. One of the hardest things to do for business is to actually see sight of the contracts so that’s where we come in.

“There are currently 3,500 tender portals in the UK and no business has the time to look through those thousands of tenders manually. We have the technology solution for these companies. They call us the Tinder for Tenders.”

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Global potential

There is a huge global drive to create more competition within their procurement processes, as around 20% of tenders only have one bidder in some countries. Public sector contracts make for a perfect client; they provide you with a usually detailed specification with no hidden requests. So any SME can work out a fair quote without asking hundreds of questions or several meetings, saving thousands in lost time as everything is in the spec. OPPORTUNI proved that now is the precise time to shake up an industry left mostly untouched for a decade.

Bid writer marketplace

OPPORTUNI not only can supply companies with the software to sift through the thousands of bids and identify leads but will give them support to win the bid and find them a bid writer to work on their tender submission.

The company’s platform has already helped customers seal multimillion-pound deals with councils, NHS trusts and Government departments. It is working with big-name brands including AECOM, SSE and Communicate Plc as well as thousands of small businesses.

The company’s accelerated success has also led to the creation of several new job opportunities. There are exciting expansion plans to employ 45 new members by the end of the year, adding to the existing team of staff that are working across the globe in the UK, Malta, Amsterdam, Canada and more.

Its technology has also been recognised nationally, with OPPORTUNI named as the 42nd most innovative and disruptive start-up in the UK in the Startups 100 List of 2021.


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