Finalcad, a mobile platform that allows the construction businesses to digitize their own processes has closed $40 million in Series C funding. Publicly listed London venture capital firm Draper Esprit, and Cathay Innovation led the round, together with the aid of Salesforce Ventures. Existing investors Aster, Serena and CapHorn Invest also participated.
Funded in 2012 by Jimmy Louchart, Joffroy Louchart and David Vauthrin, Finalcad has set out to address the building industry’s”chronic low productivity” problem. The Paris-based firm has developed a mobile and SaaS app to help construction stakeholders and construction workers collaborate digitally, which is believed to be the key to removing many of the efficiencies in construction.
Specifically and according to McKinsey labor-productivity growth in construction has averaged only 1 per cent per year over the last two decades, compared with growth of 2.8 percent for the total world economy and 3.6 percent in the case of manufacturing. The construction industry is also lagging behind in terms of digitization: MGI’s digitization indicator places it among the least digitized sectors.
To help remedy this, foremen Finalcad’s SaaS lets construction site engineers, architects and consultants work together via the Finalcad mobile program, allowing collaboration across a wide variety of workflows at the workplace and on site.
Along with acting as a communication tool — akin for building’ to a’ Yammer — the software enables stakeholders to work on drawings, BIM models, tasks, controls, security procedures and progress tracking. From that vantage point, Finalcad is able to provide insights and”best practices at a company level,” powered by its analytics technologies.
On who Finalcad’s competition is, unsurprisingly co-founder and CMO David Vauthrin says it’s a”mix of pencil and paper, excel sheets, and IM platforms,” such as WhatsApp or WeChat etc..
“On direct competition, we face some players, but they are all very small companies, limited to one trade (e.g. buildings) or to a [single] geography,” he says.
In addition to the above statement, he also adds,
“We created and implement into our customer’s organisation a ‘change management’ methodology to make sure that the majority of our customer’s workforce is going to embrace this change,” he adds.
To this end, Finalcad says it will use the new Series C funding to extend its SaaS, which spans support to operations energy, and maintenance for infrastructure and buildings. It intends to hire an additional 100 people internationally, adding to a current headcount of 170 people across 12 nations, and will invest in R&D related to its Structure Insight Platform.
“When we raised our Series B in 2016, we intended to implement pivotal change: moving from a project-based business model to a company-wide digital transformation one. This involved covering all the main activities of our industry: buildings, infrastructure, energy, operations and maintenance,” says Jimmy Louchart, co-founder and CEO, in a statement.
He also added,
“Since then, we validated this shift with some major contract wins in Europe and Asia. Now this Series C allows us to fully deploy our new strategy on a global scale. We firmly believe that this unique approach is coming to fruition, and the value we bring to our customers is the right path towards changing the way we build”.