- The construction technology industry showed resilience in the face of adverse economic conditions across the world as investment during 2022 held steady at around $5.38 billion, just under the $5.4 billion from 2021, according to a report by Monterrey, Mexico-based contech venture capital firm Cemex Ventures.
- Over 80% of investment in the market was in North America and Europe in 2022. Within those regions, the most active country was the United States, where 97 startups have their headquarters and 42.5% of all contech investment dollars flowed. This is more than four times the amount of investment in the next most active country, the United Kingdom, which had 20 startups and 8.8% of funding dollars.
- Despite financial issues plaguing economies around the world, Cemex Ventures predicts that in 2023, contech investment will continue to hold steady, with an expectation that economic issues will begin to abate and provide a path forward at the end of the year.
The report highlighted four key areas of investment in the contech field that will continue to be important to the industry. The four fields are:
- Enhanced Productivity: Digital solutions aimed at increased efficiency in construction by improving stakeholder collaboration, communication, and coordination. Examples include subsurface mapping and data-driven construction improvements for time and speed. This area represented 53% of contech’s total investment in 2022, more than any other category. Example companies include Exodigo and Constru.
- Future of Construction: Programs such as AI, advanced building materials, industrialized construction methodologies, robotics and machine-assisted applications such as 3D printing robots, BIM, and autonomous equipment. This area received 20.6% of funding in 2022, according to the report. Advanced Construction Robotics and Waste Robotics are two representative firms.
- Green Construction: Processes, products and services that Cemex Ventures predicts will be in demand to offset the negative environmental impacts that construction has on the environment. Firms in this category received 14.9% of 2022 contech funding. Companies Carbon Limit and 2050 Materials are two examples.
- Construction Supply Chain: The least bullish segment listed in the report, construction supply chain solutions, will also see growth, but it will be slowed because this is one of the most difficult operational areas to solve, according to the report. Nonetheless, the segment received 11.4% of funding dollars in 2022. Companies like Materially and Constal are among the providers in the space.
The report also noted that modular, industrial and panelized construction will experience growth in 2023 from its 2022 figure of $361 million, or 8.3% of total investment. While interest in modular remains high, it has historically struggled to enter the mainstream of construction in recent years.
The report also noted the types of funding vehicles that are most popular with investors: seed (39.9%) and Series A (23.2%) funding rounds represented the largest shares of the investment pool.
The report projected that North America and Europe will continue to dominate shares of the contech market. However, it also noted that there is concentrated contech innovation in Latin America and the Asia Pacific area, though many of these companies move to larger markets like North America once they get off the ground to tap into broader demand.
Cemex Ventures recommends that collaboration is important for startups, particularly as economic headwinds continue to push back on growth, and urges caution for business owners.
“We are not out of the current macroeconomic environment yet, so stay ambitious while preparing for the worst,” the report reads.