The Access Group buys EasyBuild and boosts software services
The Access Group has bought EasyBuild, a Borehamwood-based organisation offering ERP software designed to meet the specific needs of the construction sector.
Building on the acquisition of ConQuest in 2018, the addition of EasyBuild provides Access with "the most comprehensive set of software solutions in this industry," according to a statement.
EasyBuild was founded in 1999 with the aim of providing ERP software to meet the diverse needs of the sector, covering Main Contractors, Civils, Demolition and Concrete Frame, Interior Fit Out, Roofing and Cladding, Joinery, Rail, Highways and Utilities – and providing the critical tools needed to manage projects in a timely and efficient manner.
EasyBuild has grown significantly in the last five years since Carol Massay joined as CEO, winning awards for their software every year over the last four years.
Brendan Flattery, Managing Director of Access ERP, said since ConQuest was acquired, it has been looking for other complementary solutions to expand its offering, primarily in the UK, but also Europe.
"With their range of ERP solutions, specifically designed for the complex project management needs of this sector, EasyBuild was an obvious choice. We are really excited to be welcoming Carol and the whole EasyBuild team into the Access Group.”
Massay said the deal gives EasyBuild a new level of expertise in the provision of integrated software solutions, the chance to accelerate its product development and customers the opportunity to explore a wider range of business solutions from one provider.
"It has been my personal ambition to help transform the sector and deliver the message to embrace technology to promote a more efficient way of working. My journey continues now as part of The Access Group, and I’m really excited to be joining Brendan and the team as part of the Access ERP business."
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."