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Parspec Origin Story - Fundbox and Constructed futures podcast
Ben Kanellitsas

Head of Operations


Parspec’s Origin Story


Ever wonder how Parspec started?

Parspec’s co-founders, Pratyush Havelia and Forest Flager, first identified the underlying technology behind the submittal app while still attending Standford’s PhD program. The two of them realized how starved the construction industry was of up-to-date and readily available design documentation and performance specs after attempting to manually comb through hundreds and thousands of web pages to identify the specific sets of product information that met their needs. They were building a design optimization model that would take inputs (design specs, EPD data, and pricing information) and spit out a more efficient design.

Doing this work manually would be almost impossible. There are millions of skews of different types of construction products and materials that are constantly and randomly updated. By the time you think you understand how to play the game, the rules change. They decided to instead build a slew of web crawlers that would do the dirty work for them; constantly crawling web pages to identify pertinent product information they could use in their building design optimization models. The tool they built was never intended to be released publically until a few years later when Forest realized that the construction supply chain was forced to do the same activity manually to support the purchasing of construction products.

Manual, oftentimes non-revenue generating work is a mainstay in the construction supply chain. Documentation is poorly coordinated among the plethora of stakeholders resulting in cost overruns, mismanaged projects, and ultimately worse-off, and more expensive buildings for the end consumer. Though technology in this space has exploded since 2017, there has still been relatively slow adoption of technologies that are now common in other industries. Low margins, constantly changing and dynamic processes, and a high learning curve generally scare away most pro-tech domain experts before they are able to deploy these technologies at scale.

“The technology used by the sell side of the indistry has been reletivily the same for a few decades now… but at the same time, this (submittal) workflow is highly specialized, there is a ton of nuance to it. The ven diagram of domain experts that understand how products are producured and the technologists that access to the latest web-technology, computer vission, AI, etc. is very limited. There is hardly any overlap between the two groups. They just don’t interact…” — Forest Flager, CEO and co-founder of Parspec

Enter Parspec, a unification of software technologists and industry experts, driven by a single goal: solve the industry’s bottleneck supply chain by making stakeholders work smarter, not harder.

Want to learn more? Check out the podcast below where Forest does a deep dive into Parspec’s history, the problem we are solving, and the road that lies ahead.


From the podcast: Constructed Futures


“Parspec provides the construction supply chain with better information and more efficient online workflows to support the selection and sale of building products. CEO Forest Flager explains how they arrived at the idea for the company, and why they have chosen to enter the market with an app to support submittal package creation and management.”