Digital Deals: Autodesk to bring 3D, VR/AR to CAD and international con-tech firms seal big funding rounds
Tech firms in the construction space often join forces to marry their niche solutions with other technologies and provide more comprehensive and interoperable tools. Every few weeks, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the most recent mergers, acquisitions
WakeCap raises $1.6M from construction and technology heavyweights
WakeCap, the United Arab Emirates-based firm bringing to market an internet of things-connected hard hat, recently secured a $1.6 million seed round from Silicon Valley firm Graphene Ventures and the Middle East’s largest contractor, Consolidated Contractors Co., among other investors.
The WakeCap product, which is used to facilitate and even automate the tracking of safety and productivity metrics, is currently being used on several pilot projects in the Middle East, according to the company.
“We’ve been focused in construction technology startups in 2018 and have invested in three companies including WakeCap,” said Nabil A. Borhanu, founder and managing partner of Graphene Ventures, said in a statement. “We believe that WakeCap complements our portfolio and we’re excited to support their vision ... increasing productivity and safety of an industry which has not seen any changes for a pretty long time.”
Autodesk and Unity to bring AR, VR to CAD data
Autodesk has extended its partnership with Unity Technologies, which specializes in 3D development, to bring to its Revit clients in the architecture, engineering and construction industries “one click” access to Unity’s 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality platform.
The construction software company said users will be able to be able to visualize and correct design errors in a digital environment using the one-click integration of Unity’s visualization software, which encompasses more than 25 operating environments in that space to be accessible on “almost any device, from anywhere.”
When announcing the partnership at Autodesk University in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Autodesk chief technology officer Scott Borduin said to "expect systems that will grow more intelligent over time and waste less resources. That's the future that is emerging and the future we are accelerating for you now."
Suffolk partners with Northeastern University to launch DATA Initiative
The heavyweight contractor’s support of the Digital, Analytics, Technology and Automation Initiative, led by Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, was brought to life to establish a hub of thought leadership in the research and development of data-driven business strategies for the construction industry.
“As the world moves toward digital convergence, the construction industry has entered a new era of profound and enhanced data and technology sophistication,” said Suffolk’s chief data officer Jit Kee Chin. “At Suffolk, we are seeing quantifiable improvement in business outcomes by using digital tools and capturing real-time data for measurement and analysis. Our partnership with Northeastern will allow us to work closely with renowned academic leaders across all business functions, including human resources, marketing, business development, finance and construction operations, to better understand how to drive effective digital transformations throughout our organization.”
BIM specialist Imerso gets $2M backing
Oslo, Norway-based reality capture and building information modeling startup Imerso just completed a $2 million seed funding round to expand its business beyond the region, according to Tech.eu.
According to the firm’s Pitchbook profile, “The company's virtual-reality based platform continuously monitors incoming field-data against building plans and alerts about problematic BIM-deviations using its 3D scanning app, enabling constructors to keep all field work well documented and detect construction errors without delays.”
Vito ONE and NewMark Capital, backed by 500 Startups and TRK Group, led the round of funding that Imerso said it will use to expand internationally, outside of Nordic markets.