- The startup works with BIM standards and notifies the architects of the potential concerns with the buildings.
- Upcode also launched the code calculator for people with compliance issues.
UpCodes is a startup that works with building-code compliance tools. It has managed to raise $3.36 million in pre-Series A funding round. The new funding round has been led by Berlin-based Point Nine Capital, which heavily focuses on SaaS and online marketplaces. The company recently won a legal case when US District Court Judge Victor Marrero granted UpCode its affirmation to dismiss false advertising and unfair competition. The International Code Council (ICC) had filed this lawsuit against UpCode. Another ICC lawsuit filed against UpCode is still going on but UpCode won a big decision last year.
About the investors:
The other investors of UpCode include PlanGrid co-founders Ryan Sutton-Fee, Ralph Gootee, Tracy Young, and Kenny Stone. It also includes other names like Bragiel Brothers, Capital X, Flex Capital, and Liquid 2 Ventures. UpCodes also showed participation in Y Combinator’s summer 2017 accelerator program. Two brothers named Garett and Scott Reynolds founded UpCode in 2016 and it takes pride in having 500000 active monthly users. The paid customers of the company include construction firms like Stantec and ARCO National Construction. Architecture firms SOM and Ennead, Airbnb, Cornell University, and the State University of New York also participated.
Rental tenants, landlords, homeowners, general contractors, plumbers, and electricians also use this service. Basically, anyone that has a question about building-code compliance uses UpCode.
UpCode’s first product to the world was a searchable database of building-codes with collaboration tools. It launched UpCodes AI in 2018 which is a tool that scans 3D models. These are created with Building Information Modeling (BIM) data and notifies architects about potential issues with the design. The company’s latest feature is its code calculator which is designed for people who have compliance questions. This is for people who may not know the methods to navigate building codes that vary between different municipalities, has multiple sections, and have amendments attached.
The user may have questions like “how much square footage is allowed per floor?” “how many exits does this floor need?” For which the code calculator generates a list of requirements, with the links to relevant building-code sections. This feature is available for use in more than 40 states as a part of UpCode’s paid subscription.
Statement from the founder of the startup:
Our end goal is that no matter who you are or what level of sophistication you have with building codes, you can go into a friendly interface and answer your code question,” said Scott, who worked as an architect before launching UpCodes.
“We’ve heard from users that they’ll be looking at one particular section of the code, and they’ll make the building compliant to that, but not realize there’s a more stringent piece of code somewhere else, like say the fire code compared to the building code,” he added. “It causes huge downstream issues because they don’t have the full picture of it, so that’s what we’re trying to solve.”
The founders compare UpCode with tax calculator software like TurboTax which helps people comply with tax laws even if they are not parsed closely. “When Americans file their taxes every year, they’re not cracking open the tax code. They have tax software,” said Garrett, who was previously a software engineer at PlanGrid.
“We’re very much in the dark ages of compliance. So we want to modernize it and not have people read through the raw building codes, which are much more complicated than tax code. We want to keep expanding so that ideally a homeowner on their iPhone, for example, can click and get any kind of compliance answer they want,” said Scott.
They will use the new funding for recruitment, so UpCodes can add new features more quickly, including the ones for automated calculations.