Coworking company WeWork has acquired the project management application FieldLens, which it will incorporate into its product and construction team.
In a blog post Tuesday, WeWork Chief Product Officer David Fano wrote that the company intends to further develop itself into "a fully integrated solution" that can find, design, build out and operate its spaces.
FieldLens was founded in 2011 and launched commercially three years later. WeWork was a FieldLens customer prior to the acquisition.
WeWork has grown its digital competency through acquisitions — and it hasn't had to go far to do so. In 2015, WeWork picked up BIM consultancy Case, a company it had already been working with to design and build out its tenant spaces, with the goal of improving consistency and replicability in order to scale its build-out process.
After the Case acquisition, WeWork bought Welkio, a digital office sign-in system for guests built by employees of one of its members, Hathway. The FieldLens acquisition follows that trend, as WeWork seeks software solutions to aid its mission of becoming an end-to-end provider of office space.
The company got its start providing office space for small companies that didn’t mind sharing printers, meeting rooms and beers with other startups — many even wanted to. Now, however, the company is being tapped to build out larger spaces, both for existing clients that outgrew their digs at WeWork as well as major companies that like the startup vibe WeWork offers and want to enter a new market or offer more desking options where they already have a presence.
So far, WeWork has 140 locations in 44 cities worldwide, and Fano noted in his blog post that the company is adding new locations at a rate of five to 10 per month. With its FieldLens buy, WeWork is giving its operations team a new management tool.
"Today, there is information loss at every stage of the building process as real estate, design, construction, and operations are provided by a large number of disparate providers," Fano wrote. "This results in needless waste of materials, time, and capital at the end user's expense."
For its part, FieldLens has also been hot on the growth path, raising $8 million in Series A funding in 2014 with its mobile project management system. FieldLens is one of a number of construction technology startups that has earned the interest of investors for their ability to digitize an industry that's long held onto its analog project management methods.