Cambridge, MA–based construction software startup Smartvid.io raised $7 million in Series A funding from investors including Autodesk, Borealis Ventures and existing partners, according to Engineering News-Record.
The company uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve safety reporting on the job site by scanning images and videos of crews at work.
Autodesk’s investment also gives Smartvid.io access to its construction image files to help the startup hone its image-recognition software.
Smartvid.io and Autodesk have met before. The startup’s services are already integrated with Autodesk’s BIM 360 Field, a cloud-based field reporting tool, and its founder and CEO, Josh Kanner, was previously the head of cloud and field reporting software provider Vela Systems. Autodesk bought Vela in 2012 and used that product as the basis for Field.
In addition to its support of Smartvid.io, Autodesk has made other recent moves in the machine-learning space. The company is currently working on software that can help contractors identify and manage risk on the job site. Its Project IQ is part of the BIM 360 construction project management software platform. The mobile, digital tool pulls in data uploaded by its contractor customers to Field, though its makers hope to one day expand that functionality to all BIM 360 and some external data sources. The software then uses machine-learning technology to recognize patterns specific to the company, project type and site.
“We think of [IQ] like … a super-bright PE who's on top of everything and can grab you at the start of the day and say, ‘Hey, today these are the top 50 things we need to focus on to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and then these are the five subcontractors that I'm going to go work with because they're trending risky today,’” Pat Keaney, product management director at Autodesk, told Construction Dive in June.
San Francisco–based construction tech startup PlanGrid, which has former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz on its board, is also adding the ability to analyze data from job site reports. Earlier this year, the company announced new functionality for its building plans app that lets users file and update custom reports from their mobile devices. It plans to add analysis tools in the coming months.
Construction companies increasingly are opting for digital over paper reporting on the job site as teams become more geographically dispersed and new, cloud-based tools emerge. That’s catching the eyes of investors, who are responding — as they did in the case of Smartvid.io — with cash and other investments to spur continued growth.