UK construction product data start-up SpecifiedBy has closed a second seed round of investment of £350,000.
Some 18 months after securing an initial round of seed funding (post), Edinburgh & Newcastle based startup, SpecifiedBy, has closed a second seed round of investment of £350,000, led by existing investors IP Group Plc and Northstar Ventures, with plans to transform how building products are researched and selected for building projects.
The company, founded by architectural technologist Darren Lester in 2013 and which has now raised over £500,000, will use the money to add to the current team and develop new solutions aimed at simplifying the research process carried out by architects and designers in order to make informed decisions about the building products and materials used in a particular project. It now provides information for over 15,000 building products and materials available in the UK and Ireland.
By structuring otherwise unstructured data about products and materials, SpecifiedBy says it provides the only advanced search and comparison engine for this market. Lester explained
“There’s this huge problem in the construction industry where the majority of our information is still analogue. So in the example of building products, all of this data about technical performance, dimensions, sustainability criteria and standards, is locked up in PDFs and Word documents, making it very time-consuming to extract and make use of this information.
We’ve taken on the significant task of structuring all information about all building products and materials into a standardised, queryable database. By doing this, and by making this data open and accessible for everyone, we’re not only able to provide advanced search and comparison filters, but we can improve decision making and stimulate more frequent use of sustainably responsible products and materials.”
SpecifiedBy is working with industry organisations including the Chartered Institute for Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) to ensure its platform has the desired impact on the industry. The company is a product of the Ignite startup accelerator programme, based in Newcastle.