Amid the daily whirlwind of advancements and announcements from a range of FinTechs, InsurTechs and Health Techs comes from a lesser-known – albeit just as busy – quadrant of the digital shift: construction technology.
“The construction, manufacturing and industrial sectors are really facing unprecedented challenges, but also huge opportunities” RJ Ancona, vice president and general manager of B2B for global business and network services at American Express PYMNTS said in a recent conversation.
Following a gradual 3% or $ 15 billion increase in business spending on buildings, construction and maintenance in the first quarter, Ancona said the upward trend is expected to continue throughout the year.
However, meeting this growing demand can be difficult when supply chain delays, outdated technologies, and back office methodologies are factored in, a reality that makes investment in construction technology a reality. all the more urgent if these opportunities are to be unlocked.
Assignar’s $ 20 million bump
While most construction technology companies focus on general contractors, Assign leverages its cloud-based efforts around market subcontractors. The company announced its $ 20 million Series B funding round, bringing its total raised since its inception in 2014 to $ 31 million.
âI had 100 teams and workers in the field, a lot of heavy equipment and project work, and I ran the whole business on spreadsheets and whiteboards,â co-founder, CEO and frustrated former entrepreneur Sean McCreanor Told TechCrunch. “With Assignar, we basically help the office connect to the field and vice versa.”
The company’s core offering is a cloud-based operating platform that makes it easier for contractors to deliver a granular, real-time snapshot of field activity on a construction site, with an overall goal of streamlining operations and schedules, upgrading the team and tracing equipment, and improving the quality and safety of projects while making them more efficient and productive.
Assignar has seen demand increase for its services and says revenues have doubled year on year since its inception in Australia in 2014. As a result, the company plans to expand its business in North America, which currently represents a quarter of its total revenue and double its workforce, as well as increased investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve its core product.
Procore Public Market debuts $ 11 billion
One of the best-known companies in the emerging construction technology market, Procore Technologies, has just emerged from its previously delayed initial public offering (IPO) in late May, which earned it a market valuation of around $ 11 billion. dollars as well as new capital to work with.
âWe have seen progress in our industry’s recovery quarter after quarter and thought it was a good time to continue our beginnings despite the daily fluctuations in the market,â said Craig Courtemanche, Founder and CEO.
Procore’s cloud-based construction management software is currently used by approximately 1.6 million businesses in over 125 countries around the world. In business for nearly 20 years, the company is best known for providing real-time access to project information, simplifying complex workflows and lowering costs for construction companies, thereby reducing the likelihood of delays and cost overruns.
But while the market trend is growing, and big debuts and IPOs are part of the story, not all stories in construction tech are about winning.
Kattera, backed by SoftBank, closes its doors
SoftBank-backed construction tech start-up Katerra has officially announced that it will cease operations, after burning through a reported $ 2 billion in funding. The company previously boasted of having more than 8,000 employees worldwide, but has recently struggled to find takers on its core offering of low-cost built properties for real estate developers.
The company went bankrupt in late 2020, driven by rising costs for labor and materials. SoftBank offered the company a last-chance bailout of $ 200 million (having already invested billions in the company). But Katerra couldn’t get out of the hole he had previously dug and therefore earned the dubious distinction of being SoftBank’s biggest failure since the WeWork debacle in 2019.
So far, Katerra has not been available to comment on her upcoming shutdown.