ATL Interior Designers Build a Better SaaS Platform for the Construction Industry
It was a classic “build the plane in the air” scenario for the Dana Lynch Design team.
The accomplished Atlanta-based firm has landed the opportunity to design the interiors of several large New Urbanism communities. This job came with its own unique challenges.
“We had to come up with a better way to specify a house than the industry standard – a Word document, spreadsheet, text messages, emails, etc.,” said Abby Pratby Dana Lynch Design Marketing & Technical Operations Manager at the time. “There are thousands of details that go into every building project, and without a standard framework, things go unnoticed. This ultimately costs the builder and designer time AND money.”
The team wanted to eliminate miscommunication, help designers stick to their budget, and give them more time to focus on executing their vision. This required building a more streamlined software platform while working on these bigger jobs (the classic “build the plane in the air” scenario for startup founders looking to grow their business).
Software developed under Dana Lynch Design (DLD) was used in designing over 800 homes in five years and has gained a significant following from various design groups and at conferences. It was eventually turned into Dovetail, an Atlanta-based pre-seed startup targeting interior designers, independent contractors, and mid-to-large sized construction teams.
Pratt is now co-founder and COO of the startup, with Dana Lynch serving as CEO.
Dovetail takes its name from a construction term to describe a joint formed by conical projects, Pratt said. “Typically, you’ll see a dovetail joint used in cabinets, log cabins, etc. What our software does is join, or assemble, design and build.”
The team has spent the last year redesigning its UI/UX and software backend in preparation for a full launch. Dovetail opened its waitlist and recently closed a $700,000 pre-seed round.
The tour was led by Lake County Technologies, Inc. (LCT).
“Fundraising was not a typical experience for us — DLD developed the initial versions of the software for itself. So it was a business expense — not a debt,” Pratt added. “When we decided to start his own business, we had angels who immediately took an interest. So we’ve been extremely lucky so far. I think the best part is having the opportunity to connect with so many brilliant minds and getting something out of each of them. Dana and I are both new to the venture capital scene, so we’re building our expertise as we go along with some of the best in the game . »
Building the local ConstructionTech scene
Dovetail is headquartered in Trilith, a development of a multi-family residential community near Fayetteville, Georgia. This is especially exciting for the Dovetail team since Trilith is one of the residential communities that helped launch the startup.
Dovetail is part of Georgia’s growing community of construction-related startups, which includes companies such as Yardz, Covertool, green badgerand Flashtract. All have raised funds in the last year and a half.
The broader construction-related startup scene in the Southeast also continued to grow.
Based in New Orleans Level seta payment platform for contractors, was officially acquired by construction giant Procure late last year, and based in New Orleans Prokeepa messaging platform for distributors, raised a $9 million seed round earlier this summer.
Other major funding deals include North Carolina Prescient (a $190 million round), North Carolina-based Higharc’s ($21 million Series A), and Chattanooga Branch Technologies ($11 million funding round)).