- Aproplan, a Brussels, Belgium–based construction tech startup, closed $5.66 million in Series A funding led by Fortino Capital, according to TechCrunch.
- The company, which has dubbed itself the "Salesforce for construction," will use the capital to produce new features for its app that streamlines construction workers' communication and document-sharing capabilities on the job site to cut down on project schedules and stay under budget.
- Aproplan co-founder and CEO Thomas Goubau said the company signed an agreement with a coalition of Belgium's 60 largest construction firms to commit to the digitization of the country's construction industry — and they're using Aproplan in the process.
Aproplan isn't the only construction tech company trying to push the industry further into the digital age. PlanGrid, a San Francisco–based construction software firm, has been working to keep construction paperwork in the cloud since 2011, enabling contractors, clients and architects to collaborate and stay up-to-date on project details. In May, the company took that goal one step further with its launch of Field Reports, a new feature that lets project teams file and update job-site reports from their smartphones.
Bluebeam, FieldWire and Procore are other players working to improve mobile project management and collaboration software. Autodesk, with its BIM 360 Field and Project IQ, is also enabling construction teams to monitor project data in 2-D and 3-D, and to observe real-time project performance.
Though the construction industry has been slow to adopt new technologies, recent trends suggest that cloud-based developments and those that cut down on project times are only going to gain momentum. A late 2016 study by JBKnowledge reported that construction companies are eyeing the cloud in growing numbers. The share of 2,604 AEC firms spending 1% or less of annual sales on IT grew from 45% in 2015 to 70% in 2016.
According to the survey's respondents, eight in 10 reported that mobile technology is important or very important in their daily construction operations. Invitation to bid, project management, field data collection and CRM platforms were the most frequently used cloud-enabled systems.