PlanGrid, a startup that hopes to replace blueprint printouts on construction sites with those that can be viewed on an iPad, has just released its latest app update. PlanGrid version 3.0 is designed to make it easier to find connections between plans, with an automatic hyperlinking feature, as well as improved collaboration with web-based markup.
Since being launched early last year, the startup’s app has been quickly adopted by a number of big construction agencies and major brands. It’s now been used on more than 35,000 different construction projects, including some major retailers you may have heard of — like Starbucks and Nordstroms. Its system now stores more than 2 million pages with blueprints — with more than 10,000 new pages being added every day.
With that in mind, the company hopes to accelerate growth with a few new features. First, it’s added automated hyperlinking between blueprints stored on the app, basically using machine learning to figure out which plans refer to one another and then creating links between them.
PlanGrid CEO Ryan Sutton-Gee said linking between various PDF files is usually the first monkey-type job that new recruits get, since it’s something that no one really likes to do. Since there can be up to 10 links per page and thousands of pages per project, being able to scan through and add those hyperlinks automatically will save tons of man-hours for PlanGrid customers.
In addition, PlanGrid has added a new feature that will allow users not on the app to mark up blueprints. App users are able to make notes which can be seen by all other users referring to the same plans. Now that ability will be available to those who are accessing blueprints through PlanGrid’s web-based viewing tool as well. That will allow those who are back at their desks to send notes to iPad users in the field, improving communication between the two.
PlanGrid has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from a group of investors that includes Box, 500 Startups, Y Combinator, and Navitas Capital, as well as angels such as Suleman Ali, Sam Altman, Paul Buchheit, Matt Cutts, Ray Levitt. The company now has 11 employees and is based in San Francisco.