Funding amount: $5 million
Top funder: Florida Funders
Miami, Florida-based software firm Togal.AI announced that it had raised $5 million in a pre-Series A SAFE round with a $50 million valuation cap, according to a March 21 press release shared with Construction Dive. A SAFE round of funding means that the investing party can turn that investment into equity at a later date, such as at the next equity financing round or liquidation event.
The funding was led by Tampa, Florida-based venture capital firm Florida Funders, along with a roster of new and existing investors, including executives from Facebook parent Meta and Goldman Sachs.
Togal.AI claims to be the first and only estimating software that uses deep machine learning to help contractors with the bidding process. The software detects and measures project spaces in seconds with 97% accuracy, the company claimed in the release, a process that could take days if done manually. The firm counts DPR, Clark Construction and Total Flooring among its clients.
Togal.AI was founded by Patrick Murphy, the firm’s CEO, who represented Florida’s 18th district in Congress from 2013 to 2017 and is also executive vice president of Miami-based Coastal Construction, a large general contractor in Florida and the Southeast.
Coastal was named the first-place winner of the 2023 AGC Construction Innovation Award for its use of Togal.AI to expedite and improve its bidding process.
“Growing up in a family construction business, I learned estimating from my grandfather 25 years ago,” Murphy said in the release. “We used rulers, rollers, highlighters and a calculator to perform take-offs. Then the industry moved to computers, where we manually used a mouse to measure each space.”
But now, he said, increased technology adoption and the COVID-19 pandemic have rapidly changed that landscape.
“It’s beyond exciting to now bring AI to the industry. Construction is at an inflection point and I believe the next decade will be transformative,” Murphy said in the release. “The pandemic accelerated the acceptance of new methodologies and the technology has finally caught up to drive better results, higher quality and faster deliveries, all at a better price.”
In addition to current offerings, Murphy told Construction Dive in an email that the company was planning to release a GPT, or generative AI, search feature that will allow users to search for words, objects, tags and symbols within a set of plans, spec books or related documents.
“Our goal is to take the wealth of knowledge that currently exists in the millions of plans that have already been built and apply that to future jobs,” Murphy said.
This story has been updated to correct Patrick Murphy's title with Coastal Construction.