Construction management

IA BuildAi Construction Management Platform Secures $ 1.9 Million Seed Funding

BuildAi, an AI-powered construction management platform, raised $ 1.9 million in its last round of seed funding as industry scrambles to find viable solutions to scale to COVID-19 lockdowns.

Some high profile construction participants and investors include Marr Contracting, Total Constructions, Galileo Ventures, Markus Preston (CEO of The Preston Group), Angus Kennard (Kennards Hire), Stuart Ford (Ex MD Ford Civil) and several other angel investors. who contributed to the round. The hope is that predictive outcome technology could be the key to safely getting construction sites back on track.

BuildAi said during regular operation; productivity losses cost sites over $ 300,000 per day, which has exploded particularly in New South Wales and Victoria due to pandemic restrictions. In addition to this, the increasing cost of materials, from wood to steel, creates other budgetary difficulties.

It is estimated that material supply constraints and increases in commodity prices will add between 2-4% to total project costs, in addition to increases in logistics and transportation costs. For large sites, this can mean millions of dollars in material loss alone.

BuildAi says that with the latest fundraiser, it will focus on its ability to help project managers better understand site resources and timelines. The company says it can enable real-time modeling of factors ranging from tradesperson listing and deliveries to supply chain and equipment coordination.

“Smarter site management was crucial to construction results, but goes beyond saving money,” says Kristian Butcher, CEO and co-founder of BuildAi.

“The closures have had a devastating effect on the construction industry, which powers much of the Australian economy. In Greater Sydney in particular, efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have affected more than one quarter of a million construction workers and delivered a $ 1 billion blow to the NSW economy. Sadly, we are seeing a similar story in Victoria. “

Butcher says if they don’t fix this problem, construction companies have told them they won’t survive the pandemic. He says it’s more than just a financial constraint.

“Construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than from workplace accidents,” he says. “The psychological tension is heavier than ever for exchanges with families to support, mortgages to pay and lights to keep.

“Closures are not sustainable, so we must harness technology to create safe and productive sites and get workers back to work. The future prosperity of Australia’s construction industry depends on it.”

Construction professionals working in the industry echoed these sentiments, saying that while blockages threaten their livelihoods, technology plays a fundamental role in navigating and adjusting to the situation.

Roberts Co project engineer Muzhda Shakeri says operating remotely during Sydney’s recent blackouts has presented everyone with new challenges. However, she says there is promise to see emerging technologies playing a crucial role in increasing value and efficiency in all jobs.

“As an on-site engineer, adopting technologies that provide real-time project information and reports while minimizing data entry allows me to stay closely connected to what’s happening on the job site.

“At Roberts Co, we value flexible working conditions and embrace new technologies as one of the main catalysts in shaping the future of construction,” she says.

Funding also comes from the signing by BuildAi of a number of notable new clients in the construction industry, including BKH Group, Roberts Co, Built, AW Edwards and Mirvac Constructions. The late funding round brings the total liquidity of BuildAi raised to $ 5.7 million.

BuildAi was started in 2019 by former Mirvac senior engineer Kristian Butcher to help alleviate the cost of construction project inefficiencies, resource errors, oversights, and unnecessary delays.

The company’s cutting-edge technology leverages visual, telematics and other data sets to capture and maintain a real-time image of progress, providing an accurate account of the production status of the site, coordinating the chains of off-site supply and optimizing logistics management.

“Our goal at BuildAi is to harness valuable data to create safe and healthy work environments for Australian blue collar workers who desperately want to come back and stay put,” said Butcher.

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