Attentive.ai, a startup building vertical software for landscaping and construction services in the U.S., has raised $7 million in a new funding round as it looks to enhance its AI-led offerings and expand them to more businesses.
Led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, the all-equity Series A round, which follows the earlier $5 million seed investment, also received participation from Attentive.ai’s existing investors: Peak XV’s Surge and InfoEdge Ventures. Additionally, Mumbai-based investment firm Tenacity Ventures has come on board this time through a secondary investment.
Landscaping and outdoor services primarily rely on manual measurements that involve labor and operational costs. Whether site measurement or paving maintenance, businesses spend hundreds of dollars and tens of hours before kicking off their projects to estimate the cost, appropriate material and time required. Inaccurate estimates also sometimes lead to overbidding and underbidding and impact revenue goals. As the real estate industry grows, landscaping and outdoor services companies look for tech-driven solutions to bring efficiencies and cut operational expenses. Enter Attentive.ai to address these needs using AI and computer vision.
Founded in April 2021 with a focus specifically on North America, the Delaware-based startup, which has an office in India’s Noida, offers an end-to-end business management platform with AI-based workflows to bring automation to landscaping and construction companies. The platform — already used by some major industry players, including Juniper, U.S. Lawns, Beary Landscaping, Greenscape, Nanak and East Coast Facilities, among others — helps companies save time and effectively bid for outdoor contracts using automated site measurements through Automeasure. The automation tool targets services such as landscape, paving and facilities maintenance and snow management.
Companies using Attentive.ai’s Automeasure can get measurements of properties — be they commercial, retail chains or housing societies — using a Google Maps-like interface from where they receive the estimates by searching for a particular property address and defining the lot boundary based on their requirements. Additionally, the tool allows users to manually upload blueprints in PDF so that the software can trace and determine the quantity of material required based on the site size and other parameters. The tool also lets companies transfer all their existing construction takeoffs. Furthermore, the startup provides a dedicated on-site assistance app, which can be installed on a mobile or tablet device, to help the operations team add notes to the sitemaps by geotagging site data, and lets the ground staff access real-time data while on the go.
In addition to Automeasure, Attentive.ai has a flagship, cloud-based business management software for landscaping and construction companies. Called Accelerate, it automates sales processes and operational workflows, gives access to production planning with overtime alerts and live sales pipeline tracking, and prevents ghost clock-ins. The software is also integrated with aerial and blueprint takeoffs.
“Earlier, businesses used to go on to the site, measure the site — go in with a measuring wheel and measure the entire site. It used to take hours and days. Now, they can just enter the address of that site. Computer vision will process all the available aerial imagery of that site and give you the data… we are also doing generative AI-based automatic scheduling of different properties and jobs that companies need to do,” said Shiva Dhawan, co-founder and CEO of Attentive.ai, in an interview.
Dhawan co-founded the startup along with Rishabjit Singh (CTO) and Aishwarya Maurya (VP Product Strategy) to solve some of the most pressing concerns of construction and outdoor service businesses through its software that helps enhance their sales and operations.
Up until now, Attentive.ai focused on the landscaping industry. However, with the new funding coming in, the startup has expanded its focus to construction operations and started targeting general and sub-contractors and suppliers in an industry which it considers to be valued at more than $3 trillion, through a tool called Beam AI. It can deliver multiple construction estimates simultaneously after receiving blueprint plans from users by automating their tracing. At the back end, the startup has a quality assurance team that reviews the auto-generated estimates.
Even though Attentive.ai is one of the few startups bringing automation to landscaping and construction operations, the industry has had some competitive solutions for some time. These include Aspire and LMN in landscaping, Bluebeam and StackCT in construction and Go iLawn and PropertyIntel in property measurement. Nonetheless, Dhawan told TechCrunch the startup has an AI-based DNA and is a deep tech AI services company, and its team includes a background in fintech mapping and insurance.
“We come from an AI-based background where our strength is in the computer vision space, whereas these companies don’t have that tech DNA,” he said.
The startup, the co-founder believes, also has the advantage of offering round-the-clock customer support from India, which is “highly cost-effective and reliable.”
Attentive.ai looks to utilize the fundraising to expand its go-to-market team in the U.S. and widen its headcount of 160, of which five are based in the U.S. and the rest are in India, by hiring more people. Additionally, the startup plans to use some of its fresh capital on product development.
“Attentive’s innovative technology leverages Vision AI to drive disruptions in old-economy industries such as Outdoor Field Services and Construction. Organisations in these sectors are hungry for technology solutions that can drive efficiencies in their businesses. Shiva and his team have demonstrated tremendous commitment to addressing their customers’ needs and the delight was evident when we spoke to their customers,” said Nikhil Marwaha, senior executive director, at Vertex, in a prepared statement.
The startup, with a $4 million annual recurring revenue rate, has over 500 companies as its customers across the U.S. and Canada, of which about 300 are landscaping, 100 are paving maintenance and 100 are construction companies. It seeks to add more customers by bolstering its product and marketing.