The past few months have seen a new flurry of funding for construction technology startups, with several making announcements earlier this summer, including San Francisco-based Join and Canadian construction management software firm Bridgit.
As summer comes to an end, several other companies have also announced support from investors. Here are a few of the most notable ones:
Two weeks ago, construction site data and analysis firm OpenSpace announced a $14 million funding round led by Lux Capital with other investors including construction and development firms Suffolk Construction and Tishman Speyer.
The platform uses artificial intelligence to create navigable, 360-degree photo representations of jobsites during regular walkthroughs. Workers attach a small camera to their hardhats and walk the site as normal, with OpenSpace passively capturing imagery in the background. Imagery data is then uploaded to the cloud, where algorithms map the photos to project plans and stitch them together, creating a visual representation of the site similar in style to Google Street View.
With OpenSpace, project stakeholders can conduct virtual site tours, communicate easily about change orders, and review the photo record to see changes over time.
Tishman Speyer has used OpenSpace for its MIRA condo project in San Francisco and the Spiral office tower in New York City, and company leaders see value in scaling the program more broadly, said Jenny Wong, managing director at Tishman Speyer.
The technology is in use on projects exceeding $50 billion in total value in the United States and around the world, according to an OpenSpace spokesperson. Construction firms using the program include Turner Construction, Novo Construction and Hathaway Dinwiddie.
On Monday, drone startup Civdrone announced that it had raised $500,000 from New York-based firm ff Venture Capital. The Israeli company, which has raised $1.5 million pre-seed round, is part of the GENIUS NY UAV accelerator and Infralab construction tech innovation lab in Israel.
Civdrone is the first autonomous land surveying marking drone on the market, according to CEO and co-founder Tom Yeshurun. The firm’s device and software work with commercially available drones to survey a jobsite and insert stakes embedded with QR codes into the soil.
The program enables drones to stakeout coordinates within half-inch accuracy in large infrastructure construction sites, Yeshurun told Construction Dive.
“Civdrone can mark up to 500 points a day and requires only one drone operator,” he said. “Each stake is coded with clear construction instructions for the builders and encourages productivity.”
Civdrone has been tested on several road and building construction sites in Israel and in October the company will host demonstrations for potential U.S. clients, Yeshurun said. He declined to name the U.S. contractors that have expressed interest.
“We plan on providing Civdrone as a service from the end of the year and as a product by 3Q of 2020,” he said.
Versatile Natures, an Israeli-based startup with offices in San Francisco and New York City, recently announced it raised $5.5 million in seed funding from Germany’s Robert Bosch Venture Capital and several other investors. This adds to the $3 million in pre-seed funding the company raised since its founding three years ago.
The company’s CraneView platform offers a holistic view of construction sites via sensors mounted under the hook of a crane. Data collected by the sensors provides insights such as information on materials, redundancies, construction progress and crane utilization, according to the firm.
Its machine learning and AI-based algorithms also help to improve safety by identifying “near misses” on the jobsite, founder Meirav Oren told Construction Dive.
The platform is being used by several U.S. construction firms as part of the company’s early adopters program, including Turner Construction, Swinerton, First Florida and Clark Pacific. Commercial deployment is expected in Q4 this year starting with early adapters and followed by companies on the firm’s waitlist, Oren said.
Australian startup Ynomia recently received $3.6 million in seed funding from a group of of investors that includes San Francisco-based Brick & Mortar Ventures, the largest construction tech investor in the U.S.
Founded in February last year, the company provides Bluetooth-powered technology to track materials and keep teams connected on construction sites. Its gives workers the ability to locate materials, tools and people across a jobsite in real time, co-founder Matthew Barbuto told Construction Dive.
It is being used on several large-scale mixed-use developments in Melbourne and for projects in the United Kingdom and will be available in the U.S. in the second quarter of next year. The investor money will help Ynomia improve upon and add to its offerings, Barbuto said.
“As our first external capital, the funding represents a significant step forward in our financial and commercial capacity, especially as it relates to accelerating product development,” he said.