Why We Invested: FIRMUS
Heartland Ventures recently invested in pre-construction solution FIRMUS. Why?
It’s no mystery that communication between contractors and designers can be a pain point across the construction industry. In fact, each stakeholder would admit that a greater emphasis on transparency and asynchronous communication would benefit all parties involved in a project. One part of the construction process that is especially prone to the pitfalls of lackluster communication is the hand-off between designers and the general contractor. Design documents should be a source of truth for all stakeholders, but often they are not. Design documents are sometimes inconsistent and can include both “bid-ability” and “build-ability” errors. These issues can lead to unreliable estimates, rework, delays on site, claims, poor decision-making and faulty project planning. Thus, implementing any design into construction carries considerable risk for all stakeholders.
Shir Abecasis teamed up with Reuven Amar to build FIRMUS to address this problem. FIRMUS revolutionizes design risk management by analyzing construction documents and transforming the documents into searchable data structures. This allows customers to run analyses and automatically uncover design issues. General Contractors will use FIRMUS in the pre-construction phase, thus saving stakeholders time and money before hammer meets nail. This enables better outcomes in both bidding and building. After reviewing the product, Doug Adams, a Project Executive at Shiel Sexton shared, “Design teams have increasing pressure on their design schedules which reduces their QC time. We spend a lot of time reviewing drawings for gaps and inconsistent information that needs an RFI. An automated solution to comb the documents for inconsistencies and errors helps us and the design team produce a better product for the client at a much faster pace.” Shiel Sexton was just one of many construction firms Heartland heard this from — another reason our fund developed conviction in the product.
Shir (CEO) and Reuven (CTO) have a combined 20+ years of experience leading technology teams and operations in the Isreali military’s 8200 intelligence unit, simultaneously referred to as Israel’s NSA and the country’s “secret startup machine.” They were then able to recruit a team with construction experience that is now working with FIRMUS’ early customers to ensure the platform delivers for all stakeholders.
FIRMUS is currently working with leading construction companies, including Rogers O’Brien, Nibbi Brothers and Build Group. Heartland Ventures will be working closely with Shir and her team to design and execute the go-to-market strategy across the US and, more specifically, within the Heartland. In this way, our Fund will again execute its strategy of providing Heartland stakeholders with early access to innovative solutions and enabling a portfolio company to work with aligned early adopters interested in providing critical feedback for continued optimization.