- According to Forbes, "nearly unknown" Chicago-based predictive data analytics company Uptake Technologies has beat out industry darlings like Uber, Slack and DoorDash to claim the title of 2015’s hottest startup. Uptake, valued at $1.1 billion after raising $45 million in October, was launched in 2014 by Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell.
- Uptake partners with major machine and equipment manufacturers in the construction, aviation, mining and rail industries to create software-as-a-service products that stream sensor-based performance and maintenance data to users in the form of predictive insights about the condition of the equipment and its parts. Uptake said that with these insights, companies can better predict when a malfunction is going to occur before it happens, saving time and money and improving safety.
- Construction giant Caterpillar partnered with Uptake earlier this year and is one of its main investors. The equipment company said Uptake offered a way to provide better data analytics technology for customers using Caterpillar equipment.
"We are partnering with companies who want to be part of the solution and not disrupted by it. It’s challenging for the biggest companies to innovate at the speed of an entrepreneurial organization," Keywell said.
This has been an exciting year for construction technology startups. Fieldwire, a startup that offers mobile and web platform services for construction projects, brought in $6.6 million in its first round of financing, and women-owned Bridgit created a construction "punch list" app, Closeout, which the owners presented at this year’s Google Demo Day: Women’s Edition.
And founded by Navy veterans, Rhumbix, a mobile platform that collects data from construction workers' smartphones in an effort to provide "data-driven insights" for construction managers, secured $6 million in Series A funding last month. BuildingConnected also raised $8.5 million for its construction bid management platform.
Construction industry software leader Autodesk has also gotten in on the action and invested in drone startup Skycatch. Skycatch drones will collect aerial data about construction sites, and Autodesk ReCap software will process the information for use by designers, engineers, architects, BIM managers and other AEC professionals.