12 contech firms raise a combined $396M in investor funding
Adding even more money to skyrocketing construction technology investments, 12 firms recently raised an additional $396 million in venture funding.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated investor activity in the contech sector, as more contractors searched for digital solutions. But industry experts say the construction industry remains still in the early phase of mass adoption.
Here’s a look at a number of notable firms that recently received new funding.
1build helps builders win more bids by automating their construction cost estimates with a combination of human and machine intelligence. The company announced it secured $14.5 million in a Series A funding round in September led by Brent Baltimore at Greycroft.
Agora, a materials management platform for contractors, announced it has raised $33 million in a Series B round of funding in August led by Tiger Global Management, along with 8VC, Tishman Speyer, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, investor Michael Ovitz, DST, LeFrak and Kevin Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite, an event management and ticketing website. The funding round brings Agora’s total raised since its inception to about $45 million.
Agora’s mission is to make it easier for commercial trade contractors to order and track materials, automate manual data entry and give all parties involved in the procurement process a single platform to communicate with each other. This should help projects move faster and contractors to avoid delays.
This robotics manufacturing technology company raised $12.4 million in August, and plans to roll out its tech across Europe, the United States and Canada.
The Israeli company offers a scalable solution with high quality products, and claims to reduce manufacturing times and costs, industrial footprint and dependence on manual labor.
The construction technology firm announced raising $4 million in capital in August. The fundraising round was led by TDF Ventures, along with existing investors Mercury Fund and S3 Ventures.
Buildforce’s technology connects construction contractors with craft workers. Its app streamlines identifying, screening, placing and managing construction professionals. The startup plans to use the funding to invest in continued product innovation and expanding its go-to-market efforts.
The AI construction tech company Buildots announced a $30 million Series B round in August led by Lightspeed Ventures, along with previous investors TLV Partners, Future Energy Ventures, Tidhar Construction Group and Maor Investments. The company announced it will use the funding to double its global team with a focus on its sales and research and development departments.
Buildots provides construction companies with an end-to-end solution that gives project managers full control of every activity on a construction site. Its AI algorithms automatically validate images captured by hardhat-mounted cameras, detecting any gaps in original design to scheduling.
The construction finance platform announced it raised $125 million in Series D funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion. The funding round was led by TCV, along with Brookfield Technology Partners, 9Yards Capital, XYZ Venture Capital and HighSage Ventures.
The new funding will be used to expand Built’s team, accelerate delivery of new products, design new products for property developers, home builders and contractors, and launch expansion internationally.
Doxel, an AI powered project controls solution, announced in August it raised $40 million in Series B funding. Insight partners led the round, along with existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Amplo, bringing the startup’s total raised to $56.5 million since December 2015.
The company developed a software that helps track and monitor progress on construction job sites, and claims its technology has helped customers save around 11% on its budgets and experience a 38% average increase in productivity.
Kewazo, a construction robotics startup, announced it closed a $5 million series A funding round in September, bringing its total amount raised to $9 million. The round was led by TrueVentures, though existing investor MIG AG, a Germany-based venture capital firm, also was involved in the round.
The company focuses on digitizing construction processes for construction sites and industrial plants with robotics and data analytics. To do this, Kewazo uses robotics platform LIFTBOT to enable its digital services. In scaffolding, the company claims, LIFTBOT can save up to 44% of labor costs, addresses labor shortage, and improves safety.
Liatris, a Maryland-based startup developing advanced thermal insulation materials, announced it raised a $1 million seed round in July, led by Maryland Momentum Fund and Old Line Capital.
Liatris announced it will use the funding to scale up pilot samples of its first product, a non-flammable insulation board. After the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017, the global market for fireproof insulation, estimated to be nearly $20 billion annually by Kenneth Research, has grown around two times faster than the broader insulation market.
Nexii, the Canadian green construction technology company, announced it reached unicorn status in under three years via its latest funding round in September, in which it raised $45 million. The Vancouver-based company claimed to be the fastest company to reach the unicorn milestone in Canadian history.
The company designs and manufactures innovative high-performance buildings and green building products that are sustainable, cost-efficient and resilient in the face of climate change. Its building solutions have a lower carbon footprint with 20% to 33% less embodied carbon, use 33% less energy and 55% less heating energy.
The San Francisco-based company providing tech-enabled insurance for commercial construction, announced a $6.15 million seed round in September led by Spark Capital, with participation from Susa Ventures, Procore Technologies, Y Combinator, Greenlight Re, Oldslip and several strategic angles from within the insurtech and fintech ecosystem.
Shepherd’s platform automates the underwriting process and offers contractors reward and incentive to invest in technology, digitizing the way insurance is procured within commercial construction.
Versatile, a construction technology company that uses artificial intelligence and IoT to optimize construction processes, announced in September it secured $80 million in Series B funding. The funding round was led by Insight Partners, along with Tiger Global, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Entrée Capital, Root Ventures, Conductive Ventures, and veteran construction technology entrepreneurs Leigh Jasper and Rob Philpot. Versatile will use the funding to support the company’s growth and strengthen its data-driven capabilities.
Construction industry veterans, including Tooey Courtemanche, founder and CEO of Procore, and Ralph Gootee, co-founder of PlanGrid, also joined as new investors.
The California-based company creates technology that gives construction professionals visibility into their production rates. The company claims it increases productivity, predictability and safety.