Finnish construction tech company, Metroc, has developed a SaaS tool to assist construction firms as they seek out project opportunities. It combines public information from thousands of data sources breaking down the accessibility and value for its customers. It uses AI and has spent two years training the language model specifically for needs within the construction industry.
Through a collaboration with the Finnish Criminal Sanctions Office, Metroc has been using the assistance of inmates, in four of the country's prisons, to train the AI algorithms through document processing work at workstations supplied by the firm. Through it, teaching prisoners digital skills needed for study and working life, as well as for integration into society. Prisoners also learn a basic grasp of the construction industry.
The tasks include interpreting the text content and answering questions about the construction industry, such as "Is this document an approved building permit" or "Is this document the contractor selected for the project". Training artificial intelligence is done by repetitions and answering questions.
“For a long time, construction industry market data has been incomplete, out of date, and scattered across various platforms, resulting in construction companies being unable to find suitable projects, customers, and partners at the right time – leading to uncertainty for both businesses and end-customers,” says Jussi Virnala, CEO and founder of Metroc. “The platform provides construction companies with a comprehensive overview of upcoming projects, empowering them to navigate smoothly in this challenging environment."
The SaaS firm has raised a €2 million Seed funding round, which was led by Lifeline Ventures, along with support from angel investors. Funds will help the company push beyond the current borders of Finland and Sweden, where it already serves over 300 customers, as it eyes a European expansion. It will also bring fresh talent to its tech, sales and marketing teams.
"Metroc is a bootstrapped company with immense promise, as witnessed by their great traction and strong growth numbers. Metroc is leading the digital transformation of a traditionally conservative industry, harnessing the full potential of AI. Lifeline Ventures was deeply impressed by their ambition, technical capabilities and successful execution, making it an easy decision to invest in their future growth,” says Petteri Koponen, Founding Partner at Lifeline Ventures.