PermitFlow: The Pre-Construction Platform

Permitting is painful. It’s a universal gripe. Ask anyone who recently underwent a home renovation. The permitting process alone is a complex, time-consuming, and costly endeavor that involves a mountain of legalese-laden paperwork and several visits to the local municipal office (exciting!). It’s drudgery. Now imagine you’re a property developer who feels this pain every day. The cognitive and coordination load is overwhelming.

Enter PermitFlow. PermitFlow is building a software product that helps property developers prepare requirement-ready, error-free permit applications that shorten municipal review cycles and enable customers to acquire building permits faster and easier. The platform covers the full permitting lifecycle, helping customers understand what permits they need depending on their given construction projects, how to best prepare and submit them, and then tracks the progress step-by-step across all constituents (general contractors, developers, architects, electricians, plumbers, structural engineers, etc). No longer do construction professionals need to try and decipher obscure municipal websites/requirements and suffer through back-and-forth whack-a-mole in the form of municipal office comments; PermitFlow shoulders all of this complexity in a single, centralized platform.

Why is this possible now? Two developments: COVID-19 and LLMs. The pandemic catalyzed a much-needed digital shift, pushing municipal offices and their corresponding permit processes online. No longer do you need to visit your local town’s building department (bummer!). Concurrently, the emergence of LLMs now make it possible to reason against unstructured data at scale, a much-needed capability to make sense of all the messy municipal permit requirements that differ in every jurisdiction. Taken together, PermitFlow is now able to help automate the end-to-end permitting process across nearly every municipality in the US. And so far, it’s working: they’ve grown ~20x in 2023.

What’s more: we’ve come to learn through our conversations with property developers that permitting serves as a highly strategic beachhead into the broader pre-construction value chain. By its nature, PermitFlow’s platform aggregates all of the different constituents and project details on a given project, making it a perfect platform to extend into downstream services like compliance, payments, design, project management, and more – with PermitFlow already feeling customer pull in this direction. Expect exciting updates here in the coming years.

Finally, at the helm of PermitFlow are its founders Francis Thumpasery and Samuel Lam. Each bring a mix of industry experience, technical acumen, and deep execution orientation. They’re the type of founders who can bend the world to their will. And we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them and the full PermitFlow team in leading their Series A round to give permitting a tech-driven facelift. YIMBY-ism FTW.

ー Josh