Atlanta is no stranger to new construction projects. Now, it’s home to a startup looking to “crunch” the numbers and legal jargon behind those projects.
Originally headquartered in South Florida, DocumentCrunch’s founding team is composed of construction lawyers who have seen firsthand the pain points embedded in commercial real estate and other construction project paperwork.
Co-founder and CEO Josh Levy told Hypepotamus that the AI/NLP platform is designed to “look for what lawyers and construction executives look for” in complex construction contracts. For Levy, it is helping smaller construction firms get a leg up during the stressful building process.
The Intersection of LegalTech and ConstructionTech
“Construction is a super dynamic industry where a contract has to be managed every single day,” said Levy. Weather delays, supply chain disruptions, changing technical requirements, and the realities of working with dozens of different contractors have created the complex area of construction law, which Levy has been working in for over a decade.
“Big companies in this space such as contractors, and designers have the internal resources like lawyers, executives, and risk managers to really understand contracts. But that’s an overhead function and construction does not have the biggest of margins.”
But Levy estimates that upwards of 80% of the construction industry is made up of small to medium-sized companies. These often lack the resources or manpower to critically look through contracts, insurance policies, and other ancillary project documents.
Instead of hiring a construction lawyer to look over a 200-page contract right away, DocumentCrunch scans paperwork for common contract issues that contractors should be aware of during the scope of a project.
Levy adds that the goal of DocumentCrunch isn’t to tell a customer “this [part of the contract] is good, or this is bad, you should sign this, et cetera. Instead, we help to identify the issues and provide context around those issues, which allows the end-user to quickly digest the contract and get to a point of making an informed decision around what to do. Bigger companies start to democratize that subject matter expertise from the back office to those in the field, and smaller companies can understand more in both the back office and the field.”
One important aspect is that DocumentCrunch also allows customers to upload and ingest drawings and construction renderings, as often there are clauses embedded inside the drawings which are easily overlooked.
Moving To ATL
While Levy has been living in Atlanta for six years, DocumentCrunch got its start in South Florida. The team was self-funded until Q4 of 2020 when it took a VC round led by Texas-based Holt Ventures.
While Atlanta’s seemingly endless construction space was a natural reason to concentrate the team in the city, Levy adds that Atlanta’s strong software talent pool served as a huge draw. That tech talent will be crucial as DocumentCrunch looks to hire on the product, customer success, and sales sides of the business over the next six to eight months.
“I see no reason why construction tech won’t continue to thrive here,” Levy added.