Construction management

AI-powered construction management platform Buildots lands $60 million – TechCrunch

In the construction industry, managers can be disconnected from what is happening on site, especially when dealing with pandemic-related disruptions. Some of the main hurdles include controlling costs, communicating with all stakeholders, and assessing risks related to aspects such as invoicing and contractor performance. Disconnection may cause delays and unforeseen expenses. A study found that 85% of construction projects over a 70-year period experienced cost overruns and only 25% approached their original deadlines.

The huge addressable market – $1.3 trillion in the United States alone – continues to attract entrepreneurs like Roy Danon, who co-founded construction tech startup Buildots in 2018 with Aviv Leibovici and Yakir Sudry. Graduates of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the founders created a platform that leverages AI and 360-degree helmet-mounted cameras to capture footage of ongoing construction projects during site inspections.

Buildots announced today that it has raised $60 million in a Series C funding round co-led by Viola Growth and Eyal Ofer’s OG Tech, with participation from TLV Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Future Energy Ventures and Maor Investments. Danon says the new capital, which brings the total raised by Buildots to $106 million, will be dedicated to product development and the expansion of the Buildots team, particularly in Europe and North America.

“The construction industry has gone through a major transformation over the past few years,” Danon told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Drivers of this change include the growing demand for new commercial and residential projects, the increasing complexity of these projects and labor shortages. Traditionally, entrepreneurs have suffered from low profit margins, but Buildots’ solution is leading the charge to connect data to decision-making so they can maximize revenue.

The idea for Buildots was born in 2017, 10 years after Danon, Leibovici and Sudry met in the IDF’s elite Talpiot unit. With no previous experience or knowledge of the construction industry, the trio spent six months researching projects to better understand the challenges faced by construction companies and contractors.

Picture credits: Buildings

Buildots analyzes project schedules, designs, and other data to generate a model of an active construction site. When workers equip their helmets with a compatible 360-degree camera and upload the footage to Buildots, the platform automatically compares site features – such as pipes under a kitchen sink – to the model to assess progress, blurring automatically people in images for compliance purposes.

“Having operated in many diverse regions including North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, we have collected diverse datasets that allow us to build extremely robust AI models,” Danon said. “For example, when a solution examines hundreds of millions of sockets, it becomes very good at recognizing problems and reporting errors. Although most items look the same from construction site to construction site, there is always that customer who decides to put on a pink cubicle toilet that defies our models at first sight.

Buildots’ two-way integrations with Oracle Primavera P6, Asta Powerproject, and Microsoft Project planning platforms are designed to enable instant timeline updates. Monthly progress reports, meanwhile, ostensibly help validate contractor payment requests.

“Increased visibility helps decision makers reduce risk, improve cash flow and save significant time,” Danon added. “[This gives] gives them the confidence to know that their projects are being carried out as planned and in the most efficient way possible. »

Of course, Buildots isn’t the only company applying AI to construction. Others include BeamUp, which develops an AI-powered building design platform, and Versatile, which, like Buildots, captures and analyzes construction site data to provide a picture of construction progress. construction.

Construction technology is a lucrative business right now, thanks to the broader boom in the industry. In 2021, investment in construction startups reached a record $4.5 billion, triple the amount invested in 2020, according to Cemex Ventures.

Asked about traction and future plans, Danon said Buildots’ revenue has “spiked tenfold” over the course of 2021, with the company’s customer base expanding to “dozens” of contractors.

Buildings

Picture credits: Buildings

“There are definitely companies trying to make construction more efficient. Examples include Avvir and Doxel in the US and Disperse in the UK. However, when it comes to synchronizing decision makers with construction site data, Buildots does it with more depth and precision than anyone else,” Danon said. “Buildots has more than doubled the size of its team over the past year and recently passed the 200 mark. The new funding will be used to grow our R&D, sales and marketing [organizations]. We plan to be 300 by the end of 2022.”

Contacted for comment, Viola Growth General Partner Natalie Refuah said, “With cutting-edge technology and a superb team, Buildots offers immense potential for efficiency and profitability. We are delighted with their continued success in capitalizing on this market.


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