A review of global contech funding by segment supports the three major trends for 2020. Based on Tracxn data, it’s possible to allocate funding to the various segments. Tracxn has been tracking the funding of contech startups since 1999.
According to their database, most funding since then has gone to project management, accounting for over USD 2.1 bn in the period to April 2019, followed by BIM (incl. libraries) and marketplaces with USD 0.5 bn each.
One of the smaller but increasing trends of investment in Contech has been AR/VR. To date, AR/VR comprises USD 124 m in funding related to visualisation, i.e. virtual tours and augmented reality – both for new build and renovation. Smart equipment accounts for USD 161 m, including asset tracking as well as robotics and solutions for field inspection. Connectivity, with USD 421 m in total funding, encompasses various field management solutions such as task management, progress tracking and safety-related software.
AR & VR have garnered a huge amount of enthusiasm in the construction industry. Both seem to make digitalisation and their tangible use cases are unlimited.
Booths at conferences featuring AR and VR technology for the construction industry often attract many eyes. Wearing a pair of AR glasses can allow visitors to dive into the world of a contractor: within a combination with 3D models, it becomes possible to visualise behind-the-wall wiring and with overlay directions for how to fix a critical Issue.
Additionally a 3D or BIM model is often easier to understand with VR glasses on: You can navigate through the model in the concept and design phase – with a little time mastering the control equipment or joysticks. In the virtual model, clashes between structures can be identified and annotations made right away before the build has been started.
Additionally typical construction projects involve numerous players throughout the construction process. Off-site and in the field, the “three Ms” are crucial: men, machine and materials. They have been interacting successfully for years. With construction productivity stagnating, many startups expect digitalisation to bring significant efficiency gains by connecting the three Ms.
The Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and wireless technology can make a digitally harmonised and integrated construction process a reality.