The construction industry has not historically been renowned for its efficiency. Various reports indicate that construction is among the lowest-performing sectors in terms of productivity — partly attributable to its lack of digitization. And that is why we’ve seen a slew of startups and investors take up the mantle and try to catapult the $12 trillion industry into the 21st century.
The latest such startup to attract significant venture capital investment is San Francisco-based Fieldwire, which today announced it has raised $33.5 million in a series C round of funding led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Brick & Mortar Ventures, Hilti Group, and Formation 8.
Founded in 2013, Fieldwire targets construction firms with cross-platform software designed to help organize everyone involved in a project, and includes floor plans, instant messaging, task management, punch lists, issue tracking, scheduling, and reports.
Fieldwire claims to currently be used on 500,000 projects globally, with major construction customers including Clark Construction Group in the U.S. and Built from Australia.
“Our customers face two distinct challenges: finding technology that actually gets adopted in the field, but also forming long-term partnerships with companies that can grow with them and deliver enterprise-level service,” said Fieldwire CEO Yves Frinault. “Being a great partner in this industry is often rewarded with deep customer loyalty, so our main goal is to stay equally nimble and customer-focused as the company grows.”
Prior to now, Fieldwire had raised around $7 million, and with another $33.5 million in the bank, it said that it plans to invest in R&D initiatives and expedite its international expansion.
The startup, which has already grown beyond its San Francisco HQ with offices now in Phoenix (Arizona) and Paris (France), is planning a new hub in Australia by the end of this year.
Fieldwire’s latest raise comes hot on the heels of return investor Brick & Mortar Ventures closing a fresh $97 million investment fund for construction technology firms, of which there are plenty operating across the sphere. And it’s clear that startups and their backers are looking to tackle the construction industry’s lack of efficiency and digitization from multiple angles.
Last month, for example, San Francisco-based OpenSpace raised $14 million for an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that visually tracks the evolution of construction projects over time, while Norway’s Spacemaker raised a $25 million round for AI simulation software that optimizes the layouts of residential development projects. Elsewhere, Paris-based Finalcad nabbed $40 million for software that helps construction companies manage processes and glean insights through predictive analytics.
“Construction represents 10% of the world’s GDP, but this immense market is still in its digital infancy,” explained Darren Bechtel, founding partner, and managing director at Brick & Mortar Ventures. “Traditionally, construction software has been sold top-down and has only impacted a fraction of construction professionals. By focusing on the craft workers and subcontractors, Fieldwire is deeply changing the way construction works from the field up.”