The start-up lowdown: Findable

Abstract image of document management for Findable story
Image: Alexandersikov |

Are you wasting time, increasing costs and stressing out due to lousy document management? Perhaps Findable has the answer. Fredrik Halmøy Wisløff, the start-up’s chief executive and co-founder, gives the lowdown on how Findable uses AI to help organise documents.

BIMplus: Let’s have your elevator pitch: how does your technology help those in the built environment?

Fredrik Halmøy Wisløff: Findable uses AI to assist the construction and real estate industry in organising documentation. The solution to what the industry itself refers to as the “world’s most boring job” is manual sorting of papers or manually sorting digital files in a file system or other manual digital tools. For the first time, we replace this with automation that reduces the risk for our customers by providing full control over mandatory documentation, more efficient operations, and easier certifications. Ensuring that buildings are always ready for due diligence removes unnecessary discounts during sales.

For us, the environmental aspect is particularly important. We started the company because access to original documentation is the biggest bottleneck for reuse. Legal requirements for documentation mean that one cannot simply put something into use. We assist multiple clients with this, and easier access to documentation leads to better maintenance, which, in turn, extends the lifespan of buildings.

Environmental certifications are only possible with the right documentation. More and more financial arrangements are linked to this. For example, if you want a green loan, you must have your paperwork in order.

Fredrik Halmøy Wisløff, CEO and co-founder of Findable

“Findable has developed a platform that uses AI to automatically classify and organise building documentation. It does this based on an understanding of the documents, similar to how our human brain learns to recognise things.”

Fredrik Halmøy Wisløff

Findable has developed a platform that uses AI to automatically classify and organise building documentation. It does this based on an understanding of the documents, similar to how our human brain learns to recognise things. In addition, we make all content searchable, and it is also possible to chat with the documentation and directly inquire about what one is looking for. Our solutions are used continuously in operations and throughout construction and renovation projects.

Which businesses have tested it or are currently using it?

As of today, we have more than 80 paying customers, primarily in Norway, from both the public and private sectors. To name a few, we count among our clients Statsbygg (Norway’s largest public property owner), Stavanger municipality, AF-gruppen, Skanska, and Betonmast.

What was the genesis of your technology?

Findable is actually a direct result of covid. During the pandemic, we saw the opportunity to start something new. I had previously worked with Lars Aurdal and Knut Hellan, who became co-founders of the company. Together, we were aware of the incredible possibilities within AI and documentation through a project we had undertaken at Ambita (Norway’s largest real estate data provider) on a different type of documentation. We thought that other industries must also have a need for automation of documentation, and we began working on a ‘document understanding platform’ on a summer day in 2020.

In the first six months, I worked full-time on what would become Findable, facing challenges amid the pandemic, uncertainties, and having just welcomed our second child. Despite this, the opportunity to start something with two of the smartest technologists I’ve met motivated us to make it happen.

Initially possessing impressive technology, we were unsure where to apply it. We began by asking: “Who needs to manage large amounts of documentation regularly?” Initially targeting lawyers, we conducted thorough research with more than 50 meetings. However, we found challenges in their early negative experiences with AI solutions, the hourly billing model, and the difficulty of scaling in the legal market globally due to its specificity.

During the same period, we joined Startuplab and connected with Sondre Malde Pedersen, who leads its data science initiative. Challenged by his own negative experiences with legal tech, he urged us to reconsider. We had also explored the real estate industry, where the ‘jungle of documentation’ bottlenecked reuse, a significant issue in a sector contributing 40% of global carbon emissions. As we delved deeper, we realised the exciting potential and decided to seize the opportunity. Sondre joined us as a co-founder on this journey.

Who is in your senior management team and what’s their background?

As well as myself, there are:

  • Lars Aurdal, head of AI and co-founder: PhD in signal processing, image recognition/OCR, license plate recognition, controlling drones to gothic handwriting recognition.
  • Knut Hellan, CTO and co-founder: text/NLP & search, internationalisation of Google News, founder of Sincerial, with exit to Zedge.
  • Sondre Malde Pedersen, CCO and co-founder: experienced entrepreneur, business developer and technologist with a demonstrable track record of taking products and companies from ideas to market.
  • Linn Kristin Storvik, head of engineering and co-founder: former founding partner at Gridlabs, lead developer at Spiff, software developer at Innovation Lab at EVRY Norway.

Are you looking for funding?

We are well-capitalised, backed by strong investors who actively support us. We have both a substantial runway and continuously increasing revenue from a growing number of customers.

What are your plans for Findable over the next two years?

First and foremost, we are focused on supporting UK customers with compliance, and the Building Safety Act and the golden thread. We have identified a global problem that we are solving for one of the world’s largest industries. There is no doubt that this has the potential to become significant. With an incredible team and supportive customers, we achieved tremendous growth last year and aim to grow even more this year.

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