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Goldman Sachs backs U.S. construction finance tech startup Rabbet

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo - RTX2CX1S

Goldman Sachs Group Inc has backed Rabbet, a U.S. startup that develops software to help make construction finance more efficient, the companies said on Wednesday.

Rabbet, formerly known as Contract Simply, will use the funding to further develop its platform and grow its software engineering and sales team, the company said.

Rabbet’s platform helps companies involved in construction finance — such as banks, developers, and contractors — digitize and view documents relevant to a deal. The process is currently heavily manual and paper-based, making it time consuming and prone to errors.

Rabbet’s technology uses machine learning to automatically find and extract key information from documents, in a format that can be more easily analyzed by the parties involved.

The Austin, Texas-based company says the platform enables lenders and developers to gather more insight from the information they have and transact faster than by emailing each other spreadsheets and PDFs.

“All this information is trapped in disconnected PDFs, spreadsheets, emails,” Will Mitchell, Rabbet’s chief executive and co-founder, said in an interview. “We want to focus on the efficiency, accuracy and transparency that software can bring to this complex industry.”

Goldman’s investment comes as banks and other large financial institutions increasingly turn to fintech startups for technology that can help them streamline some of their processes.

Mitchell said Goldman’s construction finance division was using Rabbet’s software.

“We firmly believe construction finance is going to be automated and brought out of its decades-old, paper-ridden process,” David Bell, managing director of Goldman Sachs’ construction group, said in an interview. “Rabbet is the only solution we’ve seen that can handle the complexity of this transition.”

Oliver Smith

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