Originally on BetaKit here by Josh Scott
As wave of construction tech solutions target contractors, Part3 serves architects.
Toronto-based Part3 is part of a growing group of Canadian tech startups that have sought to service the historically slow to innovate construction sector. Part3 targets a group it believes is underserved by existing solutions: architects.
Canada’s construction tech sector features fast-growing players like Montréal-based building material delivery startup RenoRun, Toronto construction workforce management platform Bridgit, and Kitchener-Waterloo-based heavy equipment rental company Dozr, as well as earlier-stage entrants like RoofBundle, and MyComply. What all of these startups have in common is that they share a focus on the needs of contractors.
“There’s a lot of construction tech firms that are building software for contractors … What no one is doing is helping an architect and an engineer.” -Jack Sadler, Part3
In an interview with BetaKit, Part3 co-founder and CEO Jack Sadler said most construction tech companies focus on contractors, leaving architects and engineers—the people responsible for designing construction projects—in the lurch. Armed with $625,000 CAD in new funding, Part3 aims to change that.
“There’s a lot of construction tech firms that are building software for contractors,” said Sadler.
“Everyone’s helping them with on-site productivity, safety, managing the financials of a project and the schedule, but what no one is doing is helping an architect and an engineer, or design team, actually bring their designs into life.”
Founded in 2020 by Sadler, his wife—head of customer experience Jessica Luczycki—and CTO Corey Stanford, Part3 helps architects and engineers reduce inefficiencies through its workflow platform, which allows them to collaborate on and manage construction projects.
The startup’s February pre-seed financing, which it raised via convertible note, was led by London, Ontario’s 519 Growth Fund, which is made up of RoundHouse Accelerator partners, with support from members of Ottawa’s Capital Angel Network, and angels from Shopify and 360 Insights.
Sadler and Stanford bring the tech expertise. Sadler formerly worked as an analyst at Morgan Stanley and BMO, before joining Rangle, where he served as director of product management, and CrowdRiff, where he spent time working as director of product. For his part, Stanford also spent time at Rangle, working as a software developer and solution architect. Prior to that, he worked alongside Sadler at Toronto software firm Architech as a web developer, while Sadler served as a strategist.
Meanwhile, Luczycki knows the problems Part3’s trying to solve firsthand, carrying 10 years of experience working as a construction administrator and project manager.
“When I made the switch to being a contract administrator, there were so many tasks that were repetitive and a lot of time was spent following up with people for answers or documents,” Luczycki told BetaKit. “It eventually became so time-consuming, that I started to look for solutions on the market that I could use to help me at work. There was a lot of tech available to help [general contractors] with their work, but nothing specific that solved the problem I really needed to be solved.”
Luczycki says construction work typically involves “a lot of paperwork.” The Part3 co-founder, describes the coordination aspect as “typically the most difficult, both with internal and external team members, adding, “a common phrase you often hear is that being the prime consultant is often like trying to herd cats.”
According to Luczycki, “Part3 solves this by keeping people on one platform for everything.” By confining documents and communication to a single platform, Part3 enables its users to more easily collaborate, automatically creates to-do lists and task reminders, and leverages this data to generate analytics that illustrate project team performance.
Sadler claims that although there are some legacy software solutions in the market for architects and engineers, “most of it has been built by former architects, and not with software-first development skills.”
“We’re able to come in with the best user experience and the best data and insights and the most collaborative solution that architects have seen so far,” claimed the CEO.
According to Sadler, one of the biggest barriers in construction tech right now is that the sector is “so fragmented that all customers are getting app fatigue.” Amid this environment, he sees Part3’s ability and willingness to integrate with other solutions as a competitive advantage.
Sadler, Luczycki, and Stanford initially began working on Part3 outside of their regular work hours in February 2020, almost packing it in when the pandemic hit and construction paused, but continued on after construction activity began to ramp up.
After bootstrapping Part3 for about 18 months as they built out its platform, Sadler and the team set out to raise some cash, securing support from the 519 Growth Fund and other investors.
But the morning Sadler was scheduled to pitch the Capital Angel Network, Luczycki went into labour with their second son. Realizing that he wouldn’t be able to attend, Sadler took his chances and put together a video pitch instead.
“It was a gamble that went down incredibly well, and we secured more than the funds we were looking for—we also got a story to talk about for life with those investors,” said Sadler, as Part3 surpassed its $150,000 target, raising $250,000 from this group.
Now, fresh capital in hand, Part3 has set its sights on growth. The startup has grown its team from three to seven employees since February, and plans to add a couple more in the near future.
Part3’s solution is currently available across North America, with approximately 50 construction projects currently being managed through its platform.
Feature image courtesy Part3.