By Nancy Dahlberg
Togal.AI, an AI-powered platform that streamlines the planning process for construction projects, has raised a $5 million Pre-Series A SAFE round. Investors included Florida Funders, Coastal Construction and executives from Meta, Goldman Sachs and Minitab. The new funds will support Togal.AI’s hiring and product development.
The Miami-based proptech startup, founded by Patrick Murphy, focuses on the estimating process, using AI to help humans more effectively determine the cost of various elements of the construction process and manage bids with subcontractors. Togal.AI reduces errors and labor costs with its machine learning engine that automatically and accurately detects and measures project spaces in seconds – a process that used to take hours or days – with 97% accuracy.
“Growing up in a family construction business, I learned estimating from my grandfather 25 years ago. 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,” explained Murphy, Togal.AI’s CEO and a former US congressman. “It’s beyond exciting to now bring AI to the industry.”
The startup was founded in 2019 with seed funding from Coastal Construction, his family’s firm. While in Congress, Murphy worked on legislation around the future of work and innovation. When he rejoined the family firm, he was reminded that the biggest part of their overhead is the estimating department. “Then a lightbulb went off,” Murphy said in an earlier Refresh Miami interview. “This is a perfect solution for artificial intelligence. It’s allowing humans to focus on the higher value tasks, and that really helps their company win more work.”
The Miami-based Togal.AI currently serves 25 of the 400 largest contractors in the country. Its clients include DPR, Clark Construction, Stiles, Total Flooring and Coastal Construction. The company has two patents issued and eight patents pending.
“This is one of the more innovative applications of AI we’ve seen for a growing industry ripe for disruption,” said Saxon Baum, Partner at Florida Funders, the state’s most active venture firm. “Patrick’s deep, firsthand knowledge of the construction industry’s ins and outs make him the ideal founder Florida Funders wants to back.”
Togal.AI is one of the 42 startup investments Florida Funders has made from its $60 million Fund 2 closed last year, including funding for Betr, The Mirror, Gemini Sports Analytics and CryptoLeague. Florida Funders reports that Togal.AI’s round is valued at $50 million.
Togal.AI captured the grand prize on the eMerge Americas main stage last year, winning a $420,000 investment. The startup also won the startup pitch competition at The Big 5, the largest global construction industry event in Dubai, and is a finalist for the National Associated General Contractor’s Innovation of the Year Award.
Increasingly, South Florida is becoming a hub for proptech, or tech-powered tools bringing innovation to the world of real estate, with startups moving here, launching here, or growing here. The emerging sector includes construction companies like Togal, as well as companies doing real estate financing, short-term rentals, real estate in the metaverse, and more.
“Construction is at an inflection point and I believe the next decade will be transformative,” Murphy said. “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.”
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at [email protected]
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