Document Crunch Seed Round

  • by

The news is now out that Document Crunch has completed its Seed Round led by Zacua Ventures, with additional participation from other funds such as Fifth Wall, Argonautic Ventures, GTM Fund, Blue Collar Capital, Holt Ventures, and Dysruptek.  We believe this is a killer syndicate that offers us unique perspectives, and gives Document Crunch the bandwidth to rise to the next level. 

I want to start by thanking this awesome group of investors for the faith they have put in this company. This is an incredible milestone for the Document Crunch team, and it is all the PEOPLE on this team that I am most proud of.  Since we started our journey over 3 years ago, we have been able to attract amazing PEOPLE to this movement.  That is our secret sauce: the PEOPLE! This Seed Round is a validation of the team that we have built. There is no doubt that this capital will be used to majorly improve our company—in time there will be more updates as to initiatives—but as I am reflecting, I keep coming back to the PEOPLE involved.  The Document Crunch team will continue to grow now, and our entire future hinges on continuing to attract a team of great PEOPLE.  I take that objective to heart every single day.

This was Document Crunch’s first priced equity round and I learned so much through the process.  While it was a big success, it was certainly not easy…  Nobody teaches construction attorneys what it’s like to start a company and raise venture capital!  It absolutely took a village to get us through this process.  My Co-Founders Adam Handfinger and Adam Nadler have been nothing but supportive since I went full time as CEO last year. Their continued support and long-term perspective about Document Crunch’s potential was critical to our process during this raise. I also want to give a special thanks to Meg Paulus (Holt Ventures), who was our very first investor. Meg believed in me before I believed in myself.  She was and is always willing to lean in and give me real talk, even when it may be hard to hear. Investors like Meg and Peter Shiner (Blue Collar Capital) aren’t just capital or even smart capital…  They have become friends and confidants along the way. As have other amazing advisors like Josh Kanner (Newmetrix) and Riggs Kubiak (Procore), both of whom added some much-needed perspective to the cockpit as I considered options and deal structures.  Again, it was this group of PEOPLE (and others!) who made this raise a success.

Which brings me to the point of Zacua Ventures and WHY we believe this is the right lead investor at this time. I could point to their expertise in construction, why Document Crunch fits their investment thesis, how we view their international connectivity as strategic, etc.  But it really boils down to Vivin, Mau, and Juan (who are all pictured with me, above). Again, it comes back to the PEOPLE. 

To this end, Document Crunch’s core values provide a framework for all decisions that we make.  And they are instructive as to why Zacua is the right fit:

 Relationships First:  We seek out great people and relationships. We put people ahead of our business

Kudos to Zacua for really spending the time getting to know me, well in advance of the raise.  Despite the remote world we live in, relationships don’t gain much depth on a single video chat when somebody needs something (like money 😊).  This happens over a series of informal chats and in-person meetings. Going into this raise, Zacua was a new fund, but the team behind Zacua were already old friends. Zoom calls, conferences, beers, dinners, etc.; all of those things had happened before we ever initiated this raise. Vivin, Mau and Juan made a concerted effort to be helpful and get to know me before I was ever considering this Seed Round.  And during those interactions, I came to really like them and enjoy the relationships. They invested in the relationship before they ever invested the capital.

One final anecdote which I believe explains this relational approach to a tee:  Vivin asked me if I was going to be in Atlanta a few months ago on a random Friday afternoon as he was coming to town for some business.  Figuring I was just one stop on a busy business trip for Vivin, I picked an ordinary restaurant conveniently located near our office.  Admittedly, had I known what Vivin’s true purpose was, perhaps I would have picked a better spot!  Over lunch at a restaurant in a suburban Atlanta strip mall, Vivin presented me with the term sheet.  It turns out Vivin had no other business in Atlanta.  He flew across the country from San Francisco to show me how important this relationship was to him… To explain to me what he saw in Document Crunch… To show me that I wasn’t merely a line item on his spreadsheet but a partner he wanted to build something incredible alongside.  That meant the world to me.

Contagious Energy: We have fun, are passionate, and laugh hard. We differentiate ourselves with how good people feel working with and for us. 

The Zacua team has established an outstanding following in the construction tech community.  This was on display time and again during this process.  A couple of our investors were thrilled to hear that Vivin, Mau, and Juan were leaning in; they come with a strong reputation of being founder-friendly and a pleasure to work with for all stakeholders. The overwhelming reaction and showing of support from the Contech community to Zacua’s announcement of its fund’s launch has been similarly instructive: people love and respect this team and what they are about. In fact, a few weeks ago in Palo Alto at the BuiltWorlds conference, another great early-stage founder told me (having no clue that Zacua was going to be investing in us) that if they could pick one investor, it would be Vivin, just because of how helpful and supportive he has been to that founder even when his business was barely operational. It is clear Zacua’s energy is contagious! We love this energy and these are our type of PEOPLE!

Highly Responsive and Transparent: If we say we are going to do something we do it. If our users need support, we support them, even if we don’t have all the answers. We stay on top of it. Always.

Contrary to what some people may assume, our investor isn’t looking at us with only rose-colored glasses. Our meetings haven’t been filled with false praise and shallow assessments as to where we are as a company. It is not all rainbows and unicorns! Zacua sees a lot of room for improvement and growth from Document Crunch, which is aligned with how our team sees it. We all envision a very bright future but know a ton of work and commitment will go into the execution of that vision. Zacua’s transparency around these issues, and their process itself, was a differentiator during our fundraising process. Being transparent and communicative matters to us. Zacua crushed it!

The bottom line is that Document Crunch is honored to be Zacua’s first ever investment. And just like everything that has happened to get us where we are today, we know that it is the PEOPLE involved which will make this an outstanding long-term partnership. I am humbled to be surrounded by the Zacua team as well as all the other great investors in our corner. This is just the beginning.