SiteAware raises $15M for its digital twin technology for construction

SiteAware Inc., a startup in the rapidly growing construction technology market, today announced a $15 million funding round to build and sell its digital construction verification technology.

The Series B funding round brings the company’s total cash raised to $30 million.  The latest funding round was led by Vertex Ventures Israel, with participation from existing investors Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Axon Ventures Ltd., Oryzn Capital LP, The Flying Object, and Lool Ventures. The company plans to use the funds to grow its sales operations and improve the intelligence of its software to spot more errors.

The company’s software uses images captured by cameras and drones to create a digital twin of a building under construction. It then compares the physical structure to the project plan to spot errors and anomalies that might require rework.

A digital twin is a software rendering of a physical asset that matches the characteristics exactly for the purpose of running simulations, testing performance and modeling improvements. SiteAware uploads images captured by a professional photography firm to its platform and compares them against the digital twin of the building. The software can spot a wide variety of construction errors and alert contractors so mistakes can be remedied immediately.

Fixing mistakes consumes about 20% of the cost of the construction project. A survey conducted by PlanGrid Inc. estimated that rework cost the U. S. construction industry more than $177 billion in labor costs in 2018.

Catching errors early can substantially reduce those costs. “If you catch an error in an elevator shaft after it was made it can cost you $50,000,” said SiteAware Chief Executive Zeev Braude. “If you catch it after elevators have been put in it can cost $3 million. We’re eliminating the risk of uncertainty for errors that can be very large.”

Savings from the digital twin technology come not only in rework costs avoided but in shorter project times, allowing contractors to take on more jobs. “We see customers accelerating their schedules by weeks,” Braude said.

SiteAware, whose development operations are in Israel and sales office is in Houston, has been in business about four years. It has more than 20 commercial customers, including Hines Interests LP, Trammell Crow Co., Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. and Ryan Companies U.S. Inc.

Braude said the company sees opportunity beyond the construction stage. “The data that we’re generating also has value for the maintenance of the building,” he said. “It’s a fully digitized twin and we believe the ability for building owners to use it for the long term is a growth area.”

The construction industry has been a latecomer to high technology but is catching up fast. Allied Market Research, which is the research and business consulting wing of Allied Analytics LLP, expects the market to grow more than 18% annually to reach $29 billion in 2027.

Photo: Unsplash

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