Q&A with Document Crunch’s Joshua Levy,
Strategic Advisor & Co-Founder
By: Kira Systems
- Founded in 2018
- Headquartered in Florida
Co-Founders, Joshua Levy and Adam Handfinger, took note of how construction companies review documents that can range from 30 to 200+ pages without having the right resources to truly understand the important details of them. As a result, they founded Document Crunch™, which is powered by Kira. Document Crunch leverages the Kira platform to provide industry-specific solutions, placing the knowledge of legal professionals and risk management experts right in the hands of small to medium size construction companies.
We had a Zoom call with Joshua Levy, Strategic Advisor and Co-Founder, to understand the company’s goals and experience with searching for a partner for contract review projects.
What is your role at Document Crunch?
My original role was simply being a guy who had a great idea with a good friend. When that idea became commercial and turned into Document Crunch, my role evolved (from helping move this venture from an idea into an actual company to curating our solutions). I am also very involved in setting our vision, strategic direction, and contributing to our overall ethos as to who we are and who we want to be.
How did you identify the need for contract review software focused on the construction sector?
Co-Founder Adam Handfinger and I have both spent our careers almost exclusively as construction lawyers. I was his summer law clerk at a law firm about 11 years ago and we have continued to work/collaborate in various capacities ever since. I went in-house about five years ago and sometime thereafter I became Adam’s client. We started to think about all of the work we had done when we worked at the law firm, the high volume of contract reviews that I did in my current role, and the type of work that I was outsourcing to Adam. We started seeing so many common themes/issues. At that time (late 2018) so much was being made about AI in the legal space. We started looking into whether it would make sense for us to be using such a tool in our respective roles to make us more efficient, and then we quickly realized there was absolutely no tool available for the construction industry. That void in the marketplace was the reason why Document Crunch came into existence.
How does Document Crunch leverage Kira?
Document Crunch has leveraged our own industry expertise (across construction and other industries), and proprietary consumer interfaces to come up with our unique solution. However the backend is all powered by Kira. We essentially use Kira, which we consider the best in the AI industry, to create the AI algorithms which are unique to all of our specific offerings.
Document Crunch was trained with very particular language and clause types found in the construction industry. Can you give us insight on the process and any key learnings?
reating our construction platform reminded me why construction is a niche legal practice area: it is complex and technical! We worked hard to ensure our products are topical given the issues that arise in construction-related documents, and we have also received excellent feedback from big players in the construction space on how our products are highly accurate.
How is Document Crunch helping users address COVID-19 and the impact it is having on the construction industry?
The impacts of this pandemic have caused major disruptions to construction projects due to funding drying up, closure of permitting offices, health issues on jobsites, and supply chains serving those projects. Several of our users contacted us to see if there is a way to use Document Crunch to quickly identify the contractual provisions from their ongoing projects to help identify their rights in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically to determine whether notices should be sent out for claims and, if so, where and how to send it. For some, especially large contractors, this can be a huge task. For other smaller contractors, this is similarly daunting.
In response, Document Crunch has created a very cost effective Artificial Intelligence tool specifically for our industry to help mitigate risk in light of the pandemic. It is getting excellent reviews and finds the following:
Who the contracting parties are
- Information as to the designated representatives
- What constitutes an excusable delay/relief event (including Force Majeure)
- The timing and substantive requirements for notices to preserve rights
- The way that notices are required to be served
- Also, we wanted to help on a larger scale in our own way so note that 10% of all proceeds from this product will be donated by Document Crunch to the CDC
- Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.
How will Kira support Document Crunch’s long-term goals?
The same way that we are looking for thought leaders and industry experts to inform our specific offerings, we want to be partnered with the best AI in the marketplace. Kira has done a tremendous job of differentiating itself in this space and we expect that it will continue to do so.
What makes you happiest about working with the Kira Systems’ team?
We have been outspoken about how satisfied we are with the Kira team. First of all, there is a strong cultural alignment between our groups: they generally care about doing the right thing and everyone is passionate about their mission. We have a similar energy at Document Crunch. That alignment has carried through for the entirety of the relationship thus far. We know Kira is vested in our success, and we are vested in theirs. It is a pleasure to work with a partner who is vested in your success.
In your interview with Artificial Lawyer, AI franchises are mentioned as an idea that could catch on. What are your opinions on this?
The Artificial Lawyer article put the “franchise” label on what we are doing. Whatever it is called, it is what it is: it is my fundamental belief that AI as a legal tech solution should be bespoke for industries/stakeholders that it is meant to benefit. We are solving this issue in the construction industry right now, and we are set up to take this model to other niche industries as well.
What is your advice for those seeking to build contract review software, powered by Kira, to serve a specific industry?
Come speak to Document Crunch. We are already diving into other industries, we have a road map for success, and we are looking for the best to help curate the best solutions for every niche industry.