Jun 6, 2021

5 Mins With ... Construo Founder & CEO Tom Spilsted

Construo
construction
Networking
Technology
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Construo Founder & CEO Tom Spilsted highlights what makes the free portal unique

Tell us about Construo

The platform is designed to bring the fragmented construction industry together in one focal point, with a revolutionary (effectively crowdsourced), vote-backed question-and-answer system plus access to high-level expertise. I co-founded it with E-Man Venture Labs, the leading technology startup incubator based in London, Los Angeles and Sofia. 

What’s the driving force behind it?

It’s about sharing practical knowledge and experience, rather than advice. The differential is that you’re actually talking to real people, and those people are interested in sharing their knowledge. It’s a central point for construction information and advice, whereas everything else out there is spread far and wide.

Because the construction industry is so diverse and fragmented, it doesn’t generate collaboration easily. And it has a habit of driving everything down to the cheapest cost, not necessarily taking the best value approach. I think the last year generated the most collaboration I’ve seen in the industry because of Covid-19 – companies have been working together to solve mutual problems.

What are the key features?

At the heart of Construo lies its question-answering engine, along similar (but more subject-focused) lines to Quora. It boasts a number of unique features, including easily discoverable video and written reference resources, and the ability for both seasoned and aspiring professionals to form global networks with their peers. 

Construo’s upvoting/downvoting system ensures that the best questions and answers remain prominent on the portal – rather than becoming buried in a feed as they would, for example, on LinkedIn.

As Construo.io builds its member base, its roadmap includes adding exciting services that include various cloud tools designed to help SMEs, a comprehensive, AI-driven advertising, jobs and events platform, along with a wealth of other features.

How does it appeal to graduates?

It’s the perfect entry point for young people looking to pursue a career in the construction industry. In what is a physically fragmented industry – especially given the current situation – it gives them the chance to amass useful contacts, and to tap into Construo’s vast well of building-related knowledge by asking questions.

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Jun 14, 2021

XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality

AugmentedReality
construction
DigitalTransformation
Technology
Dominic Ellis
3 min
XYZ Reality to use funding led by Octopus Ventures to springboard into USA and automatically report issues through Assisted Reality

XYZ Reality has announced a £20m investment round led by Octopus Ventures.

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."

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