TargetDocs cofounder Joseph Leiva has spent his whole life working on construction projects.
“I’m actually working out of my family’s construction office right now. So you usually would be able to see an excavator in the back, but now you’ll see a bunch of rebar and concrete and all that good stuff,” the CEO told me in a recent Zoom call. “But really, all in all, I grew up in the construction industry.”
After graduating from the University of Maryland‘s College Park-based engineering school, Leiva took over the family business, working on large-scale construction projects. But after working on monthslong projects for so many years, Leiva said he got frustrated with how difficult it was to keep track of all of the documents with outside entities, like subcontractors, vendors and trade workers.
“No matter how good a job I did balancing Dropbox, Google Drive, calendar reminders, my own email and Outlook, something always just fell through the cracks.” Leiva said. “And that’s a serious problem, because from a small business standpoint, if I forget or if they forget anything, that can impact my compliance standing, my safety standing on the job, how quickly I get paid.”
It led him to create TargetDocs, a Burtonsville, Maryland-based web service that creates a visual board for project files built with Angular, Node.js and Postgres. It organizes users’ files, offers reminders for invoice payments and keeps track of any current or missing documents. Plus, it has a collaborative workspace for both parties to share.
Currently, it primarily works with six to 24-month contract projects that can range anywhere from $10 million to a few billion in the private and public sectors. This can include work on builds like shopping malls, commercial and industrial buildings, multifamily apartments, bridges, roads and highway systems.
The four-person company, which has about 20 clients currently, just completed an $850,000 funding round in April. Of the total, $200,000 came from the TEDCO Seed Fund, which is the early-stage fund of Maryland’s technology development agency, and $250,000 came from the Maryland Momentum Fund, which is the venture fund of the University System of Maryland. Additional investors included the Hustle Fund, New Age Capital, Debut Capital, Dingman Center Angels and Gaingels. Leiva said the funding will primarily be used to bring on three new team members in sales and marketing, as well as engineering.
The Seed Fund investment comes from TEDCO’s Cybersecurity Investment Fund. Many of the company’s clients are in the government space, so they require additional compliance, paperwork and safety measures, which means some extra cybersecurity protections to keep sensitive info safe, Leiva said.
“All those materials that are being transmitted between the general contractor and the subcontractor, trades and suppliers back and forth, it’s all sensitive information,” Leiva said. “Every document is billing, payment, invoicing, compliance, security, designs, so everything is secure. If we’re going to replace email and other tools, we’ve got to have those measures in place.”
Following this round, Leiva hopes the company can grow organically, and potentially go out for a bigger round in the first or second quarter of next year. Eventually, he hopes TargetDocs can be the system that stops construction work from being so cut up in communication, and condense it into one place.
“The goal of the company is to really be the one communication vehicle of general contractors and all of their subcontractors, including their vendors and subcontractors, in one place,” Leiva said.-30-