The construction industry is one of the less digitized sectors, according to the latest CB Insights survey*. Indeed, this market of $1,1 trillion dedicates only 1% of its total revenue on innovation.
However, construction projects are becoming more and more complex, creating new needs and new opportunities for innovative startups. New technologies are changing the design, process, and execution of construction projects. Collaboration software is often the first step towards a digitized environment in the construction industry.
In the VC ecosystem, we see a great momentum for the Construction 4.0. B2B VCs are pretty excited about it (see the CapHorn article about the French position in Construction Tech industry, and the PointNine article about the Industry 4.0 factory stack)
At Axeleo, the proportion of startups addressing the construction industry has significantly increased in our deal-flow since 2017. We have met and qualified over 100 companies in the sector. We saw the trend coming and we invested in 4 of them :
- Forcity offers a suite of sector-specific applications which allow users to play out infinite amounts of scenarios over a 20 to a 30-year time frame. The applications provide unparalleled insight into the potential development and strategic support for smart, collaborative and sustainable planning.
- Deepki uses the data you already have to optimize the management of your property portfolio and launch the Energy Transition. Thanks to its software solutions, Deepki helps you improve knowledge of your assets, save time and simplify your daily life and reduce costs and detect energy savings
- Ermeo web solution is intended for field technicians and meets two needs: provide the right information at the right time and facilitate feedback directly from the field. For this, the solution transforms the technical documentation and paper into augmented documentation searchable on mobile or tablet.
- Hxperience: The day-to-day management of building infrastructures and the myriad of equipment they house is a huge source of valuable data. The Internet of Things (IoT), combined with predictive analysis technologies, enables real-time data collection and the transformation of this information source into valuable business insights.
Construction Tech Trends
From this study, we can outline strong opportunities for emerging technologies such as IoT, Robotics and Drones, AR/VR, Mobile apps and Sustainable Energy.
- IoT and cloud-based software allow to leverage data on many problematics such as quality control, maintenance and efficiency optimization. Digitization of the construction industry and the usage of sensors are linked with the rise of Big Data solutions.
- Robotics and Drones (UAVs) are especially useful for actions in locations that are hard for humans to access. The weakness about UAVs concerns the regulation. Robots and drones are not aiming at replacing humans but augmented them for efficiency matters. Exoskeletons are a good example of a technology that gives “super-power” to field operators.
- AR and VR buzzed a few years ago but usages were limited. Nowadays, the added-value of AR and VR in the industry has been proven many times from pre-construction simulation to sales, formation, and augmented-workers.
- Mobile apps on the field is a great way to have an augmented workforce. Apps give flexibility and agility to field technicians. So many great usages can be done thanks to mobile apps such as real-time tracking, augmented documentation, construction maps, processes, etc.
- Sustainable Energy is a global trend for smart buildings and smart cities. From consumption optimization to green energy production many startups innovate in the field of renewable energies for the future of buildings and cities.
In terms of funding, 165 deals have been made over the past 5 years, for $778 million invested. But non-corporates are leading the game. CB Insights revealed that only 16% of the deals involved corporates compared to over 20% in others industries*.
The major acquisitions in the construction sector remain on software companies, such as Aconex, the construction site management software ($1,2 trillion acquired by Oracle) or Stabiplan, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software acquired by Trimble in January.
For a better overview of the construction startup ecosystem, we have designed a map with 122 startups in the Smart Industry / Smart City industry, originated from our deal-flow (i.e.: French, B2B focus, seed or series A). Click here to see it in HD
Feel free to drop us an email if you think you should appear on the map: firstname.lastname@example.org