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ArchitectureQuote

Discover and WIN more architecure projects

Denmark
Market: Culture, art, Building, Trade, Another
Stage of the project: Operating business

Date of last change: 03.06.2020
Min investment
$  350.000
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Total required
$ 500.000
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Idea

ArchitectureQuote is a multi-channel project aggregation platform that helps architects discover and win more projects using automation.

Current Status

Our platform currently has thousands of Projects from three different channels:
1). Government Tenders - 2104
2). Competitions - 302
3). Freelance Websites - 675
4). Organically Generated Projects - 37


11K Unique Visitors Per Month

19 Architecture firms using the platform:

14+ Integrated and enriched feeds of projects

Product:

1) Project discovery for firms that want to grow
We list projects into three areas so architects can find all future projects in one place:

1) Competitions / Gov Tenders
2) Freelance projects from other listing sites
3) Organically generated (from our own website)

Architects can also use our platform to discover, produce proposals, and collaborate.


2) Speeding up the process of producing proposals
Our platform breaks the proposal into simpler elements and allows architects to quickly export and submit after they've gathered and input enough information.

3) Simplifying the tendering and pricing of projects
Our platform will apply machine learning to get closer pricing to the tendering of projects in the future.

4) Streamlining collaboration between architects and stakeholders
Stakeholders, contractors, and architects can all have access to a project with chat functionality to make sure all aspects of the work have been correctly outlined prior to any work getting done.

We’re on phase 3 of 3 after over 2 years of product development

Phase 1: MVP [COMPLETE]
We’ve been working since December of 2017 in short agile sprints to get a minimum viable product (MVP) in place then continue to add functionality to it. We don’t want to scare off the real paying customers by inviting them to a platform which isn’t finished, thus scaring them off.

At the moment we’ve completed the functionality of users being able to submit their project details, receive a free auto-generated quote, and then complete the secondary stage of form in the platform.

Architects can sign up and create a simple profile page then they can start to view projects.


Phase 2: Accumulating Projects [COMPLETE]
We’re continuing to gather all online tenders, RFPs, and competitors for architecture projects in Europe. The data will be homogenized; often tenders have unique fields that require cleaning up of the data, translations, and enrichment in order for it to be useful.

Additionally, we’'ve been scraping listing for architecture projects off freelance websites for architects to discover and bid on new opportunities. We currently have upwork, guru, and peopleperhour.


Phase 3: Scaling: Features + Integrations [CURRENT PHASE]
We've tripled traffic to roughly 11.000 unique visitors per month in the last 3 months. We're launching elements on our platform as freemium tools will increase sign ups and traffic. We’re giving access to our platform for free already. We’re getting daily sign ups from local and international architects.

We’ll be increasing the functionality of the features by integrating with CRMs, marketing automation platforms, email tools, open source chat tools, and setting user logic permissions for the ability to invite stakeholders and other contractors.

We’re applying for grants to support our most ambitious features on our roadmap:
We’re collecting data to build is our machine learning based “win prediction rate” feature. Using natural language processing (NLP), architecture tenders will be matched with the winning proposals.

The consistency of proposals can vary, but our solution will create suggestions most likely to be consistent with winning proposals. The proposal is more perfectly matched to the project requirements as well.
This is similar to a lead scoring tool and auto-fill feature coming together to produce long-form proposals in a more scalable way.

The Process for Building Our Machine Learning Feature
1) Datamining:
Importing thousands of global tenders and the corresponding winning proposals is easy because they’re already online and public record. We’re already harvesting thousands of projects and will continue to scale our efforts in the coming months.
2) Homogenizing Data
The data is normalized and fields are defined and scored (already doing part of this)

3) Managing Logic:
Create the APIs to extract specific key phrases or results from the data.

4) Exploration
Includes testing Node JS tools like Retext that integrate with our current data. This will require the data-scientist to sit with our advisory board of architects to regularly clarify the industry terms, typography, detecting sentiment, and more.

Startup agreements with Oracle offer $10K in data warehousing and processing, reducing our overall spend training the ai tool. .

5) Integration into the Platform:
Integrate trained the algorithm with our platform by focusing each section of the proposal.

Market

What is the total addressable market?
According to multiple sources the European and global architecture services market is growing fast.

Global:
$288.65B in 2016.
$292B in 2019
$317B in 2020
$391.97B in 2025

Number of Architecture Design Firms - 607,004

Mega-firms made up 56% of all billings but were 6.8% of the marketplace:
This means there’s a lot of small to medium sized players that are struggling to grow.

The global architectural services market is expected to reach USD 391.97 billion by 2025.

*** We are a global software product, only showing the opportunities in Denmark for the purpose of demonstration of market size in a small country ***

Denmark:
According to the Architecture council of Europe, the number of registered Architects in Denmark is growing:
2008 - 7.000 registered architects in Denmark
2014 - 10.000 registered architects in Denmark
2018 - 10.300 registered architects in Denmark

The estimated Architectural market value in Denmark:
356m€ - 2008
392m€ - 2014
429m€ - 2018

Problem or Opportunity

The Problem / The Solution
Problem 1:
Small to medium sized architecture firms lose a disproportionately high amount of contracts and have trouble growing when competing with mega firms.

56% of all architecture design contracts awarded in the EU went to Mega-firms. Yet, these large firms only account for 6.3% of all architecture employers. This means that very few talented small to medium sized players are getting a chance grow and compete.

How We Solve the Problem:
Small Innovative Architecture Firms Deserve A Seat At The Table.

We give small and medium sized architecture firms a chance to discover more projects and push out more high quality proposals more quickly using our platform.

We believe some of the most innovative solutions will come from the small firms with radical solutions to some of the biggest challenges. They deserve an equal chance to win large contracts. This is part of the sustainable development goal #9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

Problem 2:
The AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) Industries are among the least environmentally sustainable sectors in the world's economy.

Reduce Waste On Construction Sites With A Vertically Integrated Platform
According to “A Review of Construction Waste Cause Factors” the biggest reason for waste on construction sites is cited as, Frequent Design Changes. As much as 30% of building materials on construction sites end up in the landfill for that reason.
Another study also sites “design changes” being the biggest reason for waste on construction sites.

How We Solve the Problem:
Our platform is not just for deal-flow, it’s also for collaboration with all parties. This allows for architects, contractors, engineers, and construction personnel to communicate as stakeholders on the same project.

We’re big Advocates of BIM (building information modeling). If it’s possible for the data to begin with an integrated platform like ours and be fed into the 3D models, analysis platforms, and scaling models. These insights and vertically integrated data systems are building blocks of smart cities and smarter city planning. This is the cornerstone of sustainable development goal #11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Solution (product or service)

Product photos:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=16hlPUZw4noLoKXz1p_eXPd9Vw236Ai4T

Our solution is targeting architects all over Europe. Germany is much larger market and we’ve already conducted a comprehensive 108 page industry + penetration study with CPH Business and BFI Vienna.

“The Connecting Teams study highlights that most project teams using BIM processes experience reduced project error (61%), reduced time required for communication (55%), increased client satisfaction with greater project visibility and input (52%), and higher quality projects (52%).

Reports show growth and innovation specifically within Saas for the industry of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) will continue to grow in use and popularity in the coming years.

The benefits of adopting software to improve output, engagement, and reduce waste are clear.

Architectural Services Market Size & Trend Analysis Report By Services (Advisory, Project Management, Engineering, Interior Design), By End-use, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025
https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/architectural-services-market

Global Architectural Services Industry - Market Research Report - Dec 2019:
https://www.ibisworld.com/global/market-research-reports/global-architectural-services-industry/

Architectural Services Market Size & Trend Analysis Report, 2018-2025
https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/architectural-services-market

THE ARCHITECTURAL PROFESSION IN EUROPE 2018
https://www.ace-cae.eu/fileadmin/New_Upload/7._Publications/Sector_Study/2018/2018__ACE_Report_EN_FN_2.pdf

ARCHITECTS’ COUNCIL OF EUROPE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT & 2019 OUTLOOK
https://www.ace-cae.eu/uploads/tx_jidocumentsview/ACE_REPORT_2019_EN_HDEF_ARCHIVE-compressed-min.pdf

Competitors

Are there any competitors?
Tender listing sites:
Tenders info, global tenders, bidnet.
Issues: Not specific for architects, expensive, and hard to filter.

Freelance websites:
Upwork, Freelancer, Worksome
Issues: better for small projects.

Listing platforms:
Danskeboligarkitekter – no help with proposals.
Issues: Just profiles

Tender processing: Tenderfield – not tailored to architects or government tenders
Issues: more of a template tool

Advantages or differentiators

How does the company position itself in relation to its competitors?
We're focused only on architects.
Most of our competitors put architects in the same business/market as painters, plumbers, electricians, and carpenters. However there’s a significant difference to a trade that requires a short apprenticeship and service like architecture requiring a master’s degree and certifications.

Our platform isn’t tailored to painters, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, flooring companies etc.

There are a handful of sites that allow you to look up local architects but you can't get a sense for the cost of their work without having to set a meeting.

Additionally, nobody is currently doing anything in the way of deal flow management or a simple tool for the client and architect to exchange ideas.

We're optimizing the process of getting a price for architecture services.

We're helping architects discover new projects to submit proposals

And finally we provide a platform to manage the submission of a final proposal that allows for two way communication.

The end result is architecture firms on our platform win more work because they fulfill more of their clients needs and keep all the latest updated elements of the project in one place.

Finance

Pricing Model

The tool is free right now. We want to continue to provide a freemium solution as we continue to roll out the more advanced features that speed up selection / scoring and proposal building.

Users pay for access to organically generated leads, unlimited views of projects, and upcoming advanced features.

The biggest feature we’re collecting data to build is our machine learning based “win prediction rate” feature. Using natural language processing (NLP), architecture tenders will be matched with the winning proposals.

The consistency of proposals can vary, but our solution will create suggestions most likely to be consistent with winning proposals. The proposal is more perfectly matched to the project requirements as well. This is similar to a lead scoring tool and auto-fill feature coming together to produce long-form proposals in a more scalable way.

1st Tier of Pricing:
Prices start at $99 per month to get access to unlimited access to organically generated projects.

Get access to all leads including european tenders from all EU countries.

Additional features like exporting proposals, lead-scoring, filtering, crm integrations, require a paid subscription. Additionally we offer a ”first touch” option for 24 hours for new organic leads - $299.

Commission on organic:
We also take a 5-9% commission on all projects that come in organically thus increasing our potential earnings (finders fee paid by architect).

This is a pretty standard affiliate model + subscription model.

Business model

What is the sales model?
Freemium to Subscription model:
Architects pay a month fee to get more access to leads and additional features on the platform.

Up-sells for advanced features:
"First touch" - The lead is sent to one architecture firm which has 12 hours to contact the potential client before the rest of the architects on the platform get access.

Win prediction rate
Based on the attributes of the tenders and competitions, we can score a potential “win-rate” for an architecture firm to win it (similar to lead scoring in CRMs).

Commission [self generated leads - organic]
We get people submitting their own projects all the time. We take a 15% commission on the entire project.

CRM integrations:
We want to integrate with CRMs to make it instantly easier for Architects to import leads, fast.


How much money can you expect to make?
Our most conservative goal (without the additional ai features) will be to sign up 3 new companies at the $99 subscription in June and increase by 10% every month following.

Thus (3x$99x12mo)(1.10x+1mo)+ last month = $310.662 in 12 months (-3% churn ~$9K).

Once we have the win-rate / proposal features, under the same growth structure.

We can start with 3 up-sell clients for a “1st touch” access to organic leads in different regions at $299 per month. This adds $267K (-3% churn ~$8K).

We can potentially reach $1M in yr 2. I realize the numbers are a bit grandiose, but they add up in our models.

As we continue to grow, we will have premium features including win-rate, tender generation, and crm integrations are enterprise customers starting at $399.

Money will be spent on

We have an extensive road map for feature builds coming over the next few months.

Logic Based Permissions:
We’re integrating logic based permissions for subscribers to allow architects to invite other stakeholders into projects.

Additionally our chat functionality in contingent on the user logic permissions. That will take a little more time to allow us to integrate with a two sided platform. Once complete, Architects and users with Projects.

Payment Gateway
We can integrate with Stripe to begin monetizing the platform and focus on monetizing some of the more premium features on our roadmap.
Employees:
We’re in need of funding to bring on a data scientist, back-end developer, and front-end developer onto the team for faster product development.With additional development staff, we can complete sprints and push out the most important features within a shorter amount of time.
More Aggregation:
Create an automated feed of Eu Based projects via additional websites using Java/Python scripts and publishing the aggregated Tenders / RFPs onto our platform.
Development of In Platform Customer Pairing:|
Creating unique subdomains for each project is not automatically built out. Once done, this will allow all the architecture firms in our system to essentially create new projects every time they encounter an organic lead on our platform. This will allow permissions to be set with each proposal and the client gets a much better experience as they get multiple submissions through the platform on their single project.
The pairing of 2-3 projects with a firm and watching the cycle begin with the architect and the client working together using the platform as a starting point. Citing these victories with testimonials and interviews is crucial for future success.
Notifications and In-Platform Automation:
Adding in filtered email and push notifications when a subscribed architect (pay customer of ArchitectureQuote) agrees to receive daily, weekly, or monthly updates on their targeted markets.
Scaling the platform and giving both the architecture industry and those in need of their services an opportunity to get work off the ground is what this is all about.
Data-mining:
The leads are mined from public competitions (GDPR compliant), government tender listing sites, and freelance project listing sites such as (PeoplePerHour, Upwork, Guru, Elancer, and more)
Win Prediction:
The biggest feature we’re collecting data to build is our machine learning based “win prediction rate” feature. Using natural language processing (NLP), architecture tenders will be matched with the winning proposals. The consistency of proposals can vary, but our solution will create suggestions most likely to be consistent with winning proposals. The proposal is more perfectly matched to the project requirements as well. This is similar to a lead scoring tool and auto-fill feature coming together to produce long-form proposals in a more scalable way.
Architects use our machine learning platform to score the potential “win-rate,: streamline proposal creation, and win more deals. Smaller firms can send out more proposals and increase their win-rate ratio. After the new client is onboarded, architects use the platform for collaboration and integrate with project management tool of choice.

Machine Learning:
Government tenders are usually listed with only a few segmented fields. Our machine learning categorizes data fields for each project and strips out the most important information such as:
● Project size
● Deadline
● Location
● Submission process
● Build type
● Category
● And all other special requirements

The data is homogenized and set into a clean display allowing Architecture firms to easily discover the projects that suit their specialties, sector, and focus.

Future Feature - “Win Prediction Rate”:
Prediction of Winning Future Tenders - Ai (machine learning):
Based on the announcements of tender wins, the final project details are fed back into the machine learning system and paired with the original RFP. Every awarded contract needs to be announced which means you can consistently pair a “winning tender” with “winning proposal.”

With enough data from pairings, this process will continue to train the “win prediction rate” of future proposals, thus allowing a clearer route to submitting future proposals for architect firms that want to win more submissions overall.

CRM integration:
Integrating with CRMs like pipedrive and salesforce allow us to broaden our reach and usability within a larger market place. If leads are instantly imported into the pipeline, there’s far less manual data entry and work associated with outbound sales.
Data-enrichment:
Using localization data, we want to help tune the pricing of prices locally for more accurate tender automation
Machine Learning:
We've normalized the data sets and have sorting through natural language processing to extract key metrics for thousands of projects in our system.
This is a full-time job and we need to free up resources for data scientist
2 way communication:
Using open-source tools, we're setting up the collaboration feature of our platform that allows architects to communicate with clients.
This project will take time to implement but is critical

Offer for investor

Let's talk. Happy to discuss all reasonable scenarios. Interested in meeting a corporate venture representative that can help kick in doors with us.

Team or Management

Risks

Why is NOW the right time for your startup?
Architecture firms have had a great run for the last 12 years during a booming economy. However, this industry that has almost completely avoided disruptive software to automate its processes and delivery.

“Word of mouth. This is how we’ve always gotten new projects,” will no longer be an acceptable answer to the question, “how do you generate new business?”

The recession will slow the steady stream of architecture projects. Either architects adapt and find a way to get more opportunities or they face going out of business.
If an architecture firm could apply for more contracts, competitions, and projects in a shorter amount of time and the proposals would more closely match the needs of the clients, the outcome would be more wins and the ability to grow a company.

If smaller Architecture firms struggle in a good economy to keep up with large AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) firms, then they’re in for dark times in a bad economy.

Our platform allows smaller companies to discover projects, filter, speed up the proposals, and collaborate more efficiently.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

We've taken part in competitions and weekend accelerator programs.

Photos

Photo 1 - ArchitectureQuote
Photo 2 - ArchitectureQuote

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
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