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Pirros, a technology platform that helps architecture and engineering firms manage their drawing sets more efficiently, announced today that it has raised a $2 million seed round from a group of investors and advisors with deep industry connections.
Notable contributors to the funding round include angel investors Carl Bass, former chief executive of Autodesk; Joseph Walla of HelloSign; and Ryan Sutton-Gee of the construction software firm PlanGrid. Venture capital firms including YCombinator, FundersClub and Twenty Two Ventures also participated in the seed round.
Pirros is a tool created to streamline detail management for architecture and engineering firms. It automatically categorizes and catalogs the primary deliverable of design professionals: the many thousands of drawing sets that firms create each year for buildings and infrastructure.
Most firms currently face an extremely inefficient paradigm of creating, using and then effectively discarding design details — not because they are no longer useful, but because they are stored on on-premises servers with little to no ability to rediscover and reuse them. This has the effect of architects and engineers having to re-create drawings over and over for each project, which has the further effect of stripping them of the quality control process they underwent in the course of their initial creation.
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With Pirros, architects and engineers can spend more time actually designing buildings instead of documenting them. This is achieved by automatic information aggregation and storage, so that all of a company’s outputs are stored and managed in a centralized, searchable platform for easy future re-use.
“Every company has tried to build out a small catalog, so about a couple of hundred details, and these will be the most common details that they’ve used … There’s just never been the tools to expand the catalog beyond 100, 200, or even 500 details,” said Pirros CEO and cofounder Ari Baranian in an interview with VentureBeat.
“Now, our average company has over 10,000 [searchable] details on the platform,” he emphasized. “So with that ability, any new architect, any new engineer that joins the firm, quickly gets up to speed on the different standards of that office.”
The proof is in the rapid adoption of the tool among some of the industry’s biggest players. The software is already being used by over 30 firms including large architecture companies like KPFF Engineers and RAMSA.
Using AI to make building design easier and faster
Pirros leverages the metadata from the building information models (BIMs) that firms use to create their drawing sets. It extracts and indexes this data into a searchable and reusable catalog of 2D assets. It also uses clustering algorithms to group similar details together, so that users can see different versions of the same condition and choose the best one.
The platform integrates seamlessly with any firm’s existing tools or workflows. The onboarding process is simple: Firms just need to identify the models they want to include in their Pirros catalog, and Pirros does the rest of the work with its integration pipeline.
Cutting drafting work in half for architecture firms
The company has received positive feedback from its customers, especially from the youngest architects and engineers who use its platform. “Seeing the amount of traction that we’ve gotten with the youngest architects and engineers was surprising to us, but also super motivating to see that we’re actually making an impact there.” Baranian said.
Pirros plans to use the $2 million seed funding to grow its team, improve its product and expand its market. One of the upcoming features that Baranian is excited about is using AI to identify the best versions of every detail automatically and give suggestions and recommendations to users.
Pirros is a pioneer in the field of architectural detail management, which has been largely overlooked by other technology platforms. By solving this specific problem, Pirros aims to transform the way buildings are designed and documented. As Baranian put it: “We built our product exactly as we would have wanted to use it.”
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