Announcing Our Seed Round
We’re excited to announce our $3M Seed round, with participation from Accel, Y Combinator, and dozens of Angels, including the founders of Plaid, PlanGrid, EquipmentShare, Fieldwire, and Honest Buildings, and executives from Autodesk and Procore. This is a big milestone for our team, so we wanted to recap how we got here and where we’re heading.
In 2014, our founding team met at Graphiq, a startup perched on a coastal bluff in Santa Barbara, CA. We moved from New York City, Canada, Iran, and China to chase a shared goal: to help people make better decisions by connecting data from thousands of disparate sources.
Three years later, we were leading Graphiq’s skunkworks project to expand into business use-cases. We secured our first customer - a nearby startup called Procore - and began testing ahead of a big reveal. In a whirlwind, our nascent project would pause. Amazon would acquire Graphiq and focus us on enhancing their fast-growing digital assistant, Alexa.
After four years, we would leave Amazon and found Agave. Energized by the opportunity we saw working with Procore, we interviewed anyone in construction who would speak with us - superintendents, foremen, project managers, controllers, software providers, and more.
300+ interviews later, we landed on a frequent and severe pain point: “we have too many systems and none of them talk to each other”. We’d soon refine this into our mission: to connect the fragmented systems that run construction on a single global standard.
It’s no surprise that construction is one of the biggest industries in the world, and among the slowest to digitize and innovate. What surprised us was part of the “why” - that most of the software running construction was built decades ago, run on-prem, and lacked APIs. Alongside this, a growing cloud of modern tools is emerging, largely disconnected.
Unlike other massive industries where startups had built sector-specific data infrastructure to solve this - like Plaid in banking - this hadn’t been done in construction.
For construction companies (e.g. general contractors), this fragmentation has real impact. With data spread across dozens of siloed systems, staff end up moving information manually in spreadsheets between systems. Builders on jobsites can’t share data seamlessly with their colleagues in the office, delaying approvals for material purchases or causing them to use out-of-date plans and build the wrong thing. Real-time analytics, forecasting, and data-driven decisions are 10x harder than they need to be.
This also impacts construction tech companies. Their success hinges on connecting with their customers’ systems of record, which are often older and lack APIs. Integration is a common deal-blocker, and accessing data from these systems is vital for core functionality, like pulling invoices for payment or retrieving Vendors for verifying insurance. These hurdles increase the barrier to entry for software teams, adding to other well-known hurdles like difficult distribution and complex jargon, slowing innovation in the sector.
Before Agave, integrations were tedious, expensive, and inefficient. Companies built connectors one by one in-house (consuming months-quarters of engineering time), engaged consultants to craft bespoke solutions (specific to just a few use-cases), or patched-together limited tools (each meeting only a subset of their needs). With Agave, construction companies and their tech providers can now connect over 30 systems with one API, even for systems with no native APIs.
Since launching last year, we’ve helped over 70 customers streamline integrations using our API, from early-stage startups and public companies, to multi-billion-dollar general contractors. Customers call our API millions of times per week.
For example, CompanyCam, a photo-capture tool for contractors, uses our API to import projects from CRM and project management systems and to sync jobsite images in real-time. ProcurePro, a procurement tool for general contractors, uses our API to access project metadata, drawings, files, and specs from their customers’ systems to prepare bid packages, and to write bid information back to those systems.
We’re thrilled to be building construction’s data infrastructure. If you want to join our mission, check out our open roles here: https://www.ycombinator.com/companies/agave-api/jobs.