- Construction tech startup OpenSpace announced last month that it has raised $15 million in a round led by Menlo Ventures.
- The round also included investors Lux Capital, JLL Spark, Navitas Capital and Zigg Capital, as well as new investors Nine Four Ventures and Taronga Group.
- The company has seen a massive increase in demand since the coronavirus pandemic began, with the company’s vision tools allowing supervisors to track progress remotely.
- CEO Jeevan Kalanithi shared the company’s Series B pitchdeck with Business Insider to show just how the firm fundraised during the pandemic.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
OpenSpace, a computer vision construction tech startup, said last month that it had raised a $15 million in a Series B round led by Menlo Ventures, one of Silicon Valley’s most storied firms.
The fundraise includes returning investors Lux Capital, JLL Spark, Navitas Capital, and Zigg Capital, as well as new investors Nine Four Ventures and Taronga Group.
The company raised $14 million in a Series A last year, and brings the total funds raised to $33.3 million since it launched in 2018. Menlo Ventures Partner Shawn Carolan will join the company’s board.
Jeevan Kalanithi, OpenSpace’s CEO and co-founder, told Business Insider that the company wasn’t planning to fundraise yet, but that coronavirus accelerated its growth.
“Three years of growth happened in three weeks,” Kalanithi said.
The way OpenSpace works is builders wear a hardhat with a small, 360-degree camera mounted onto it to capture an image of a construction site as they walk around a building site. OpenSpace’s software uses the imagery to create a virtual twin of the worksite, which the construction team can use to track their progress.
The company has also launched a suite of tools that make it possible to search for objects, like exit signs or pallets of materials, and progress tracking, which compares the actual work site to digital plans.
Kalanithi walked Business Insider through the pitch deck that the company used to raise $15 million.
Openspace was founded in 2017, but started operating out of stealth mode in 2018.
OpenSpace’s founders met at MIT, where they all studied at the institution’s Media Lab.
The pitch deck highlights the founders’ experience, and why they’re particularly suited to run a successful company.
OpenSpace’s founding team has a wide range of entrepreneurial experience, which Kalanithi said has become even more necessary as a result of the pandemic.
Kalanathi founded Sifteo, an interactive micro-game console while he was still at the MIT Media Lab. He sold the company to drone company 3D Robotics in 2014 for an undisclosed amount, and eventually became president of the company. Afterward, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence for Lux Capital.
Co-founder and chief scientist Michael Fleischman also cofounded TV analytics company Bluefin Labs, which was sold to Twitter in 2013 for $100 million. CTO and third co-founder Phillip DeCamp worked for the MIT Media Lab and also cofounded a data visualization company Bitstillery.
This slide is meant to indicate four things, according to Kalanathi: That they’re well versed in this technology; they have experience as entrepreneurs; they know construction well as many team members have spent decades in the industry; and that finally, they’ve known each other and worked together for 15 years.
“We believe that giving people superpowers is something you can do sometimes with technology,” Kalanithi said.
This image shows Stephen Wiltshire, a British architectural artist who can draw a landscape from memory.
OpenSpace believes that Wiltshire’s “superpower” can be brought to more people with cameras and computer vision.
They decided to train that superpower on construction.
The idea came from Fleischman, who had experience working with builders and construction companies in the past.
Like many other entrepreneurs, the cost and challenge of construction opened up a wide opportunity for their computer vision problem.
These same challenges have caused McKinsey to predict that there’s $265 billion at stake as construction adopts more technology, and has prompted many other entrepreneurs to focus on construction.
This problem is made worse by the tight construction labor market.
The company positions itself as able to reduce delays, provide more accurate information on a site, and increase productivity.
The company has now captured and analyzed a billion square feet of construction sites across the world.
This redacted slide covers the company’s financial performance.
OpenSpace did not share the company’s financial performance with Business Insider, but Kalanithi said that the company grew rapidly throughout last year.
The company shared its high net promoter score.
As constriction became more remote, and developers aren’t able to easily travel, demand for OpenSpace boomed.
The company captured double the number of minutes of footage in April, a sign that the product was getting more use than ever.
This graph shows the amount of site-captures OpenSpace has performed over time, and how COVID accelerated its growth.
The amount of captures actually shot up after job sites opened back up, which leads OpenSpace to predict that remote site management will be in higher demand than ever.
The company emphasized this point with a customer testimonial.
This slide explains the use cases for OpenSpace.
Construction sites often already require regular photo documentation to track progress, so the product is replacing something that most builders already do. The other features, measuring productivity, driving accountability, and simplifying quality assurance, are built on top of that basic ability to document.
OpenSpace is already used by a wide variety of developers.
The company emphasizes the ease of use of the product.
On sites where photo documentation already exists, the company replaces active picture-taking with the camera, which captures everything as the user walks around the site.
A customer testimonial highlights this point.
Key to OpenSpace’s success is the speed at which its software is able to process video footage.
While there are other companies with similar products, OpenSpace differentiates itself on this slide by the speed at which they’re able to build a digital model.
The company has now moved from simple capture and upload to building digital tools to increase productivity on the worksite.
Kalanithi said that once the company began to gather large amounts of data, they knew the next step was using it to build more tools.
“What can we do with all of that data that customers are collecting with our current product to build more valuable things for them,” Kalanithi said.
This slide shows the company’s roadmap ahead, as it focuses its efforts on its ClearSight analytics tools.
The first ClearSight tool that they developed was the BIM Compare tool, which allows builders to compare the actual site with a digital model of the building.
This software tool compares an actual building site to the Building Information Model, which is a 3D model of the whole office space.
This makes it possible for users to check their work against the plans, preventing potentially costly and time-consuming delays.
ClearSight Review creates reports about progress on the job site.
This feature is designed to be used by the person running a job site to act as a second pair of eyes, checking for safety hazards and potential quality issues as they happen.
“Jobs are moving a mile a minute and you can’t have a safety manager there every single day,” Kalanithi said.
The tool takes input from the user, who provides some information about the progress of the site, and combines that with the collected vision data.
Object Search makes it possible to find similar objects on a job site just by clicking on an object.
Taking inventory of materials and tools on the site can be time-consuming. Object Search, which runs off of computer vision software, lets a user count the number and location of different objects around the build site by clicking on one.
The service is iterative, so if it brings back an incorrect result, the user can downvote it, and then the software should learn to differentiate between those two objects in the future.
Progress Tracking uses computer vision to follow along with the build.
This product was built to replace lengthy walk-throughs and comparisons of progress against a schedule.
“It takes a lot of time to know how much work was done and if it hit schedule,” Kalanithi said. “It’s very manual to do this today but using computer vision techniques, we can pull the data and compute it.”
Progress Tracking indicates whether a project is going according to schedule, but by highlighting specific parts of the floorplan, it also will tell how much material was used in construction, and how long it took to make. This could be used as a tool to help clarify billing as well.
The final slide summarizes the presentation.