Buildots Ltd., the developer of a construction management application, said it has raised $60 million in a Series C venture capital round, bringing its total funding to $106 million.
The Tel Aviv-based firm’s software collects data from cameras mounted on hardhats and compares it to schedule information to flag mistakes in real-time.
Founded in 2018 by three former members of the Israel Defense Forces, the company’s product uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to achieve what it said is accuracy to within less than an inch when comparing images captured by cameras to specifications created in design software like Autodesk Inc.’s AutoCAD. The firm has already enlisted dozens of paying customers building everything from “houses to airports” since its commercial launch two years ago, said Chief Executive Roy Danon.
“We take a virtual walk through a building,” Danon said. “We understand the path, compare to the designs and verify that everything is at the right time and in the right place.”
Nearly nine out of 10 construction projects experience cost overruns, according to one study, with overages averaging 28%.
Danon and co-founders Aviv Leibovici and Yakir Sudry had no background in construction when they started the company, but six months of research revealed that cost overruns are commonly an issue of “knowing what’s installed, what’s on time, what are production rates and critical paths,” Canon said. “Construction lags behind because of data.”
What’s elusive on many projects is “the certainty that a project manager has a picture of what’s happening,” Danon said. “The surprises drop dramatically along with the mental stress.”
The construction industry has typically been low-tech, but that is changing. Investment in construction technology reached $4.5 billion in 2021, triple the amount invested a year earlier. Imaging is driving much interest, with firms like SiteAware Inc. and OpenSpace Labs Inc. using “digital twins” to document project progress.
Buildots integrates with planning platforms like Oracle Corp.’s Primavera P6, Projects Analytics Inc.’s Asta Powerproject and Microsoft Corp.’s Project to enable instant timeline updates. The company has recently added monthly progress reports that validate subcontractor payments. “We’ve started taking data from multiple projects to understand how we can build better and how much the next project will cost,” Danon said. “Customers can use that data to plan their next projects better.”
The software is useful not only in project management but in post-construction documentation. Users can build a virtual timeline of construction to identify missed steps that were later covered over by walls or other construction layers.
Danon said the new funding will be used to build its U.S. sales force and expand its payments and scheduling features. The round was jointly led by Viola Group Inc. and O.G. Tech Ventures Ltd. along with existing investors TLV Partners LLC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Future Energy Ventures Management GmbH and Maor Investments LLC.