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PermitFlow advances construction permitting automation with $5.5M in new capital

PermitFlow, a San Jose-based startup developing software for developers and general contractors to streamline the construction permit application and management process, secured $5.5 million in seed funding.

The round, which closed in January, was led by Initialized Capital and included a group of founders from proptech and construction tech companies, including PlanGrid, Thumbtack, Mighty Buildings, Zillow and Bluebeam.

PermitFlow was founded in 2021 by Samuel Lam and Francis Thumpasery, who worked previously with deep workflow software and construction. They designed the company to provide the $1.6 trillion construction market with permitting intelligence and software automation.

CEO Thumpasery told TechCrunch that the permitting process can take years, but that automation is pretty nascent here with limited software and current methods being mostly manually done by municipalities.

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However, the founders didn’t see those approaches being as scalable, instead opting to work with developers and contractors to provide an end-to-end process that helps them save preparation time, reduce errors and increase transparency.

PermitFlow was in beta testing in 2021 and 2022 before launching a little over a year ago. It now works with dozens of customers in California, Texas and Florida and has supported permitting to over $600 million of project value and over 2,000 units of housing, from single-family homes to multifamily complexes. In addition, the company has 13 employees, and revenue more than quadrupled in the past year, Thumpasery said.

The new funding will enable the company to continue with technology development, customer experience and to bring on additional staff in engineering and operations to support expansion into new geographies. The plan currently is to add metropolitan areas in the three states in which PermitFlow is already operating.

“We're adding richer permitting capabilities and automation for our customers just to serve their needs more deeply,” Thumpasery said. “As we're scaling to support demand, we want to make sure we maintain a high-quality customer experience.”