AI-powered construction co-pilot

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Something is compelling about the “unsexy” industries. The worlds that have run the same processes for the past several decades. The ones we all rely on but don’t think much about.

Construction doesn't have to be unsexy. Nor does any unsexy industry. We’ll go so far as to predict that 2024 will be the year of the unsexy industries. Constructable is a prime example of why.

Our resident king of puns and wit is back this week with this deep dive on Constructable. Interested in construction and all that it entails? Derek Wong asks that you reach out to him.

- Ethan and Arek 🦄

Your AI-powered construction co-pilot

Constructable provides an AI co-pilot to construction teams for projects. The company uses its large language model (LLM) to connect dozens of disparate and disconnected data sources. Where most general contractors and project managers spend around three hours a day manually searching for a specific document, Constructable provides a simple search bar where users can ask a question and get an answer.

🔗 Check it out:

💰 Business Model

Constructable has a B2B business model where it works directly with construction firms. It makes its software available to customers with a SaaS model, charging per seat per month.

📈 Traction and Fundraising

  • Raised $2.5 million seed round from Khosla Ventures

  • Participated in Y Combinator S23 batch

  • Currently in use by over 250 construction projects

👫 Founders

  • Emma Nazim, CEO: Previously a VP of Product at AppFolio, led the product team for AppFolio’s Investment Manager from 0 to 1500 customers. Masters @ Stanford in Management Science and Engineering

  • Molly Abbott, CPO: Previously a Product Manager at AppFolio & Mindbody, MBA @ San Luis Obispo 

  • John Yoder,  CTO: Previously a VP of Engineering at AppFolio, grew the engineering team from 65 to over 250 in 4 years. Masters @ UC Santa Barbara in Computer Science

📖 Founder Story

The Constructable team has built a rock-solid foundation together over the last 10 years. Having worked together at AppFolio, their prior company, they learned how to talk with customers and build a product from scratch. 

Before settling on Constructable, they tested out a few other ventures adjacent to the space. The first was a service for small claims court in Los Angeles where they saw how frustrating it is to file a claim and learned how to do it for themselves. The second, focusing on timecards for contractors, sought to simplify and streamline an otherwise manual and mistake-driven process. While neither of these ventures stuck, it became the manual for building new ideas. 

Having been tangentially connected to construction through AppFolio, a PropTech company, and personally connected through Abbott’s family, they were acutely aware of the unaddressed struggles contractors and project managers deal with on construction sites. Construction sites were filled with long, repetitive, and painful processes. These processes became the springboard to launch Constructable.

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🔮 Our Analysis

Constructable is like Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce.

If Taylor Swift was AI, and the construction industry was Travis Kelce, Constructable is taking two superstars and blowing them up to be bigger than ever imagined. 

The world has been taken over by AI. LLMs and OpenAI are all that anyone can talk about. 

Construction is the opposite. No one is talking about construction, yet it’s even bigger than LLMs. It’s approximately a $12 trillion market, yet 60-70% of all construction sites still use pen and paper. In this horribly outdated industry, there is a sore need for innovation.

In 2020 alone, bad data cost the construction industry $1.8 trillion, with 35% of construction professionals’ time spent on non-productive activities, such as looking for project information, conflict resolution, and dealing with mistakes and re-work. As it stands, 95% of all data collected in construction and engineering goes unused. 

For example, there is a San Francisco construction project that has taken 3 years to finish. Upon completion, the project included a 2000-page plan that has changed hundreds of times, 2,300 change orders, and thousands of other bids, while incorporating almost a hundred specialty contractors. This makes it nearly impossible for project managers to locate changes and documents with ease. 

This is where Constructable steps in. By building a central hub for contractors, project managers, and engineers alike, a user can ask Constructable for a document or an answer to a question rather than spend hours manually searching their computer. Its AI model makes it easy to scan the thousands of emails, PDFs, and project data points and organize it for users to move quickly. 

By staying lean and shadowing their users on-site, the Constructable team is confident they are building a must-have for all construction sites everywhere. The synergy between AI and Construction has the potential to be bigger than Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

📚 Further Reading

Written by Derek Wong

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