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How does Contech Startups' Growth Influence Construction Market?

Construction Tech Review | Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Emerging technologies used by the construction sector and seed funding round help the construction startups to get a place in the contech ecosystem.

FREMONT, CA: A number of technology markets have appeared in recent years with names like fintech, proptech, and insuretech. Construction technology, on the other hand, is not so popular yet. Contech platform leverages the solutions primarily for the concept, design, engineering, and building phases of the construction process. Proptech tends to adopt more of a real estate perspective. Proptech initially includes solutions for use in the operation and maintenance of an existing building. Considering the emergence of new technologies in construction,  the industry is witnessing a new flurry of funding of contech startups for the past few months. As the construction sector is growing, several companies have also announced funding and support from their investors. Listed below are some of the hot startups to look forward to.

OpenSpace

OpenSpace, a construction site data and analysis company, announced a $14 million funding led by Lux Capital with other investors, including construction and development firms Suffolk Construction and Tishman Speyer. The company's platform uses artificial intelligence to create navigatable, 360-degree photo representations of job sites during the regular walkthroughs. Employees attach a small camera to their hardhats and walk the site as normal, with OpenSpace capturing imagery in the background. This imagery data is then uploaded on the cloud, where the algorithms and conditions map the photos to enable the project plans and tailor them together. This creates a visual representation of the site, similar in style to Google Street View.  The imagery is virtual, and with OpenSpace, project stakeholders can conduct virtual site tours, communicate easily about anything related to change orders, and review the photo record to observe the changes over time. The technology is in use on projects which exceeds $50 billion in total value in the United States and all around the world. Construction companies using the program include Turner Construction, Novo Construction, and Hathaway Dinwiddie.

Civdrone

Civdrone, a drone startup announced that the company had raised $500,000 from New York-based firm ff Venture Capital. The Israeli firm raised $1.5 million in pre-seed round. It is a part of the GENIUS NY UAV accelerator and Infralab construction technology innovation lab in Israel. The company, Civdrone, is the first autonomous land surveying drone in the market. The company's device and software work with commercially available drones to survey a job site and insert stakes integrated with QR codes into the soil. The programs help the drones to watch coordinates within half-inch accuracy in the greater infrastructure construction sites. Civdrone is tested on a different road and building sites in Israel, and in October, the firm will announce the demonstrations for U.S. customers. 

Versatile Natures

An  Israeli-based startup with offices in San Francisco and New York City, Versatile Natures announced the $5.5 million seed funding it received from Germany's Robert Bosch Venture Capital and other investors. This gets added to the $3 million in the pre-seed funding that the firm raised three years ago.  The firm's Crane View platform enables a holistic view of the construction sites via a sensor mounted under the hook of a crane. The data collected by the sensors offer insights including information on materials, redundancies, construction progress, and crane utilization. The product with its machine learning and excellent AI-based algorithms helps to improve safety by identifying near misses on the job sites. This particular platform is widely used by the U.S. construction companies as a part of the company's early adopters program, comprising Turner Construction, Swinerton, First Florida, and Clark Pacific. The commercial usage is expected in Q4 this year, beginning with early adapters and followed by the companies on the Versatile Nature's waitlists.

Ynomia

Ynomia, an Australian startup, gained a $3.6 million in a seed funding round which was held by the investors including San Francisco-based  Brick&Mortar Ventures. The company was founded in February last year and provides Bluetooth-powered technology which helps to track the materials and ensures that teams are always connected on construction sites. It enables the employees with the ability to locate materials, tools, and people across the job site in real-time. It is being used on several large-scale mixed-use developments in Melbourne and for the projects in the United Kingdom and will be only available in the U.S. in the second quarter of the next year. 

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