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Former President Clinton released from hospital following infection Volcanic ash halts flights on Spanish island © Provided by The Motley Fool Built Technologies Raises $125 Million for Construction Finance

Built Technologies, a Nashville, Tennessee-based fintech start-up, has just raised $125 million to expand its services within the construction finance industry.

The company, which specializes in construction loan underwriting and management software for major lenders, has grown to tremendous heights since first being founded in 2015 and is now valued at $1.5 billion after this latest series of funding.

Over the past six years, Built has helped manage and organize over $135 billion in construction value for lenders for over 200,000 commercial, homebuilder, land development, and consumer residential projects. And this new round of funding means it can do even more.

Building up and building out

The Series D funding was led by investor TCV, with additional participation from venture firms Brookfield Technology Partners, 9Yards Capital, XYZ Venture Capital, and HighSage Ventures. The money raised will help expand the company's team, as well as increase its products for its financial partners, which right now is mainly the digitization of debt and equity funding for real estate construction.

Additionally, the company plans to expand its current product offerings, offering new software solutions for homebuilders and contractors, such as compliance tracking, AP/AR automation tools, payment management, and insurance services.

Leading the way for real estate construction

In 2021, the construction industry has spent $1.58 trillion through August. While construction is a massive industry, it generally has been notoriously slow to adapt to technological advancements. The pandemic has undeniably helped fast-forward the real estate industry, including finance and construction, into the 21st century with things like digital closings, virtual notaries, electronic signatures, and digitized closing and project management systems, but there's still a huge market share that isn't being served.

That's why start-ups like Built Technologies, among other start-ups like Avvir and Workrise, are receiving major financial backing to help expand, grow, and innovate. Construction companies in particular have been battling supply chain interruptions, rising inflation, and labor shortages, all of which impact its bottom line and project timeline. This also makes it challenging for financial institutions to monitor the projects or underwrite potential projects.

The Millionacres bottom line

Built can't remove the hurdles in the economy today, but its systems can certainly improve the process of managing and monitoring these issues across the construction industry. Big-name banks, including Live Oak, Regions, and U.S. Bank, have partnered with Built Technologies to improve their lending systems in this field, and it's likely others will continue to follow suit as long as the company continues to find ways to better serve the industry's needs.

Right now, Built Technologies is a private company, meaning investors aren't able to participate or invest in it directly. There's been no indication of going public quite yet, but considering its achievements thus far, it's not out of the question for the future.

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The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from Millionacres is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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Apple shares rise as Morgan Stanley raises price target to $200

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Apple CEO Tim Cook greets customers at the new Apple Store on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, California, June 24, 2021.Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

In a note to investors on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty raised Apple's price target from $164 to $200 and maintained the equivalent of a buy rating, arguing that new products from Apple, like an augmented reality headset or self-driving car, aren't yet baked into the share price.

Shares of Apple were up 2.3% in premarket trading.

Huberty also increased her December quarter iPhone shipment forecast by 3 million units to 83 million units, a 4% increase year-over-year, and said Apple hasn't hit the same supply constraints it faced in the September quarter. It said App Store revenue is also set to outperform its initial forecasts.

"Today, we know that Apple is working on products to address two significantly large markets – AR/VR and Autonomous Vehicles – and as we get closer to these products becoming a reality, we believe valuation would need to reflect the optionality of these future opportunities," Huberty said in the note.

The note argues that Apple's stock price has increased nearly 500% over the last five years, driven largely by new products and services, and not from iPhone revenue, which has grown 40% over the same period. Meanwhile, Apple's services business has grown to nearly $70 billion annually and its wearables and accessories business contributes $38 billion annually, Huberty said.

Huberty said about 6% of Apple's total revenue over the past five years has been generated by new products like AirPods, Apple Watch and some of Apple's services, which didn't exist five years ago. She said new products like an AR headset, which could contribute as much to revenue as the iPad did in its first four years on the market, may present similar growth over the next five years, equating to about a $20 per share increase in Apple's share price today, on top of Morgan Stanley's existing growth projections.

Meanwhile, an unconfirmed report from the Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes on Monday said Apple plans to increase iPhone production by 30% in the first half of 2022. Shares of Apple suppliers like Qualcomm and Micron saw a boost Tuesday morning too. That counters a report last week from Bloomberg that said Apple warned iPhone demand was weakening heading into the holiday season this year.

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