5 contech firms pull in cash amid funding downturn


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Venture funding in the contech space is in a strange spot right now.

While the construction technology industry has experienced its fair share of recent struggles, that hasn’t stopped some firms from seeing success. Funding in the space dropped from $5.4 billion in 2022 to $3 billion in 2023 — a 44% decrease — while the number of overall deals went up, to the benefit of firms still looking to pull in funds from their own rounds.

Here are five firms that landed funding in the first two months of 2023:

PermitFlow

$31 million

One-stop permit accrual software PermitFlow raised $31 million in a Series A funding round announced on Feb. 21. The round was led by Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.

PermitFlow aims to take the complexity out of permit applications across the country. Instead of jockeying with municipalities for the correct forms, PermitFlow helps both residential and commercial builders identify what they need, submits via local digital permitting platforms on their behalf and provides a team of experts to help contractors with questions.

The company’s largest footprints are in California, Texas and Florida, per TechCrunch, but it operates across the country. It’s currently working on adding large language models, which are generative AI products in the same vein as ChatGPT, throughout its software that will help users figure out “obscure” code requirements.

Monumental

$25 million

Amsterdam-based robotics firm Monumental snagged $25 million in funding, according to a Feb. 15 release. The round was led by venture funding firms Plural and Hummingbird, and joined by Northzone, Foundamental, NP-Hard Ventures and Material Ventures.

Monumental creates bricklaying robots that can freely traverse difficult terrain on jobsites. The company believes that they will eventually help builders address the ongoing labor shortage and rising costs, per the release.

The funding will help Monumental grow its team of hardware and software engineers, scale the number of robots it can deploy on sites across Europe and increase the types of bricks and construction tasks the robots can manage, according to the release.

Shepherd

$13.5 million

San Francisco-based commercial insurance platform Shepherd raised a $13.5 million Series A funding round, the company announced on Feb. 7. The round was led by Costanoa Ventures alongside Intact Ventures, Era Ventures, Greenlight Re and Spark Capital.

Shepherd’s goal is to combine commercial insurance with technology, according to the release. The company covers the three primary casualty lines for the commercial construction industry: general liability, commercial auto and workers’ compensation. 

In addition, the insurer offers an AI-based compliance tool, free to all policyholders. The program tracks and manages third-party certificates of insurance and keeps owners up to date about what’s needed and what’s covered under those documents. 

The firm says the AI component extracts data from PDFs, which can be tedious to perform manually, and automates compliance reviews. Its platform integrates with other project management systems, including Procore. 

Document Crunch

$9 million

Atlanta-based contract intelligence firm Document Crunch pulled in a $9 million Series A funding round, the company announced on Feb. 13. The round was led by Navitas Capital and joined by existing investors Zacua Ventures, Fifth Wall, Argonautic Ventures and Ironspring Ventures.

Document Crunch uses artificial intelligence to plumb contracts for risk provisions and helps teams standardize their own contract reviews, per its website. It also offers a contract-based chatbot for users to ask questions about the document and receive quick, accurate answers, according to the firm.

The company will deploy the funding to scale its products, grow its team and develop more contract compliance solutions.



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