CEMEX Ventures names Construction Startup Finalists
The ten finalists for the CEMEX Ventures Construction Startup Competition 2020 have been announced. The competition, now in its fourth year, has gone digital due to Covid-19 restrictions but the shortlisted candidates will now head to Pitchday on 2 December to battle for one of the medal positions and a chance to present their projects in person at Builtworlds in 2021.
The contest seeks to identify and foster transformative startups in the construction industry, and this year’s finalists were selected from an impressive field of 700 entries.
The 10 finalists are:
- Beawre Digital – AI-driven SaaS platform that reduces budget overruns and delays in projects in real-time, enabling continuous operational risk control on processes
- CarbiCrete – Cleantech company whose breakthrough patented technology enables the production of cement-free, carbon-negative concrete made with industrial by-products and captured carbon dioxide
- Construyo – Europe’s first marketplace and SaaS solution for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry
- Converge – Productivity and sustainability optimisation for the entire construction lifecycle by combining the power of AI, BIM and physical sensor data
- Handle – A software and financing platform to help construction contractors and suppliers ensure payment for work and have better access to capital
- HIBOO – SaaS application that processes construction equipment data and makes it easily accessible to empower field operations
- Modulous – Generative design software and standardised kit of parts to design and deliver healthy, sustainable and affordable homes through a distributed network of local assembly partners
- Okibo – Autonomous indoor robot for application of construction materials, part of the finishing process, combining a unique 3D perception technology, an automatic path planning and a fully autonomous robotic workflow
- Voyage Control – SaaS platform to help construction firms manage their logistics and supply chain more efficiently as well as support their compliance needs
- WaveScan Technologies – Disruptive beamforming electromagnetics based on smart scanner systems and advanced AI algorithms, enabling high-resolution 3D imaging for non-destructive applications
Digital Pitchday will see representatives from those startups pitch their solutions to a jury composed of leading executives from CEMEX Ventures, Ferrovial, Hilti, VINCI Group’s Leonard and NOVA by Saint-Gobain.
The digital audience for this session will be made up of experts from the construction and investment industry under the framework of the Builtworlds Venture Conference event.
From those 10 finalists, gold medalists will be selected to participate in the Speed Dating round next year when it is hoped this can be done face to face.
CEMEX Ventures aims to build a better and meaningful future in the construction industry, by engaging with key players of the construction ecosystem such as startups, entrepreneurs, universities and other stakeholders.
Now more than ever, the Construction Startup Competition seems relevant and essential, given the need for the construction industry to accelerate its digital transformation.
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.